No hearing to be held on Perdue's campaign flights

NC State Board of Elections

August 24, 2010 3:51:10 PM PDT
Gov. Beverly Perdue's lawyer says her campaign made mistakes reporting private airplane flights she took as a candidate but doesn't think a more serious investigation is needed by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Campaign attorney John Wallace told the elections board in Asheville on Tuesday that The Bev Perdue Committee was proactive in identifying problems before her 2008 victory and continued to refile expense reports with flights that hadn't been reported.

But investigators said the Governor failed to report 42 flights she took during her 2004 and 2008 campaigns in a timely fashion and in accordance with the law.

The SBOE has investigated whether that was a mistake and a result of poor record keeping as the Perdue committee contends, or was it intentional as critics charge.

During Tuesday morning's questioning, Perdue committee members repeatedly said they, "Don't know" and "Can't know" exactly why those flights weren't reported. They also said they made substantial efforts to find and report flights that were undisclosed.

"I will say to you that there is no apparent pattern, at least to my eyes why some flights were reported and others were not," a Perdue representative said. "No flight is different from the other, as best I can tell."

In an afternoon vote that split down party lines, the SBOE voted not to put Perdue campaign officials under oath at a more serious public hearing.

It did decide to slap the campaign with a $30,000 fine.

Perdue campaign spokesman Marc Farinella called the fine a reasonable outcome to a board review of the flights.

State GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer said the decision was a whitewash of Perdue campaign activities.

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