Two candidates for NC office allegedly romantically linked

Chris Malone and Debra Goldman (Images courtesy Wake County Public School System)
October 22, 2012 4:12:46 PM PDT
Two Republican members of the Wake County school board currently running for higher office are named in a potentially damaging report.

According to a story published over the weekend by The News & Observer, school board member Debra Goldman told police investigators that fellow board member Chris Malone was a possible suspect in a burglary at her home.

Click here to read the newspaper story.

The incident happened in May, 2010. Goldman allegedly told investigators $130,000 in cash, coins and jewelry were taken.

The newspaper cited a leaked investigative narrative it said it had obtained which said Malone and Goldman gave investigators conflicting statements about whether they were romantically involved. Both were married.

Police eventually abandoned the investigation due to a lack of leads, according to the N&O.

Ron Margiotta - who was school board chairman at the time - told ABC11 Monday that he suspected a romantic relationship and tried to deal with it.

"Just talked to people, talked to individuals close to them to try and influence them," he said.

ABC11 also spoke with Goldman's estranged husband Steven.

"Apparently people in Raleigh and on the school board, that this was all common knowledge that the two of them were dating even though he's still married and she was quite married at the time," he said.

Steven Goldman told ABC11 he questions the burglary report, and said his wife never filed an insurance claim. And while he said he did buy her about $100,000 in jewelry, she still has all of it.

"She absolutely still has it. I have physically seen it. I saw it after the burglary," he said.

The incident happened just before a crucial vote on the Wake County School Board on a new student assignment plan. Goldman split from fellow Republicans on the board and derailed Republican plans for a new school choice plan.

Margiotta told ABC11 he thought the vote could have been related.

"Could very well have been," he said.

Goldman is now running for state auditor and Malone for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Political watchers say the scandal so close to Election Day could be damaging. Margiotta agreed.

"Oh I would think so.  How could it not hurt their races?" he offered.

ABC11 reached out to both Goldman and Malone for comment Monday. Malone did not respond, but Goldman - who has denied there was an affair - issued a statement:

"I am disappointed that The News & Observer would stoop to a new low in its coverage during an election year. It is obvious that these stories are politically motivated, and the timing is designed to derail my campaign. It only serves to continue the newspaper's history of attacks on me and my family."

"I am continuing my campaign for state auditor, and I am saddened that I have to even dignify these reports with a response. This is all I will say regarding this issue, and I consider the matter closed."

The Cary Police Department told ABC11 Monday that it did not leak the investigative report.

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