Goldman report missing from DA's office

Chris Malone and Debra Goldman (Images courtesy Wake County Public School System)
October 25, 2012 5:30:11 PM PDT
Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby told ABC11 Thursday that his office can't locate a report faxed from the Cary Police Department.

The document detailed a burglary that Wake County School Board member Debra Goldman said happened at her home in May, 2010. Goldman allegedly told investigators $130,000 in cash, coins and jewelry were taken.

The News & Observer newspaper reported last weekend that it was sent a copy of the police report by an anonymous source that included the notes of investigators. According to the newspaper, Goldman told detectives that fellow board member Chris Malone was a possible suspect in the burglary.

Click here to read the newspaper story.

The investigation was later dropped due to a lack of leads, according to the N&O. The newspaper also reported Malone and Goldman gave investigators conflicting statements about whether they were romantically involved. Both were married.

Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore told ABC11 earlier this week her department did not leak the report and was investigating how it became public. She said a copy was faxed to the Wake County District Attorney's Office and then the original was locked away.

DA Willoughby told ABC11 Thursday that he gave the report to one of his investigators, but the man passed away in June. A search of the retired SBI agent's office, and Willoughby's own office, did not turn up the report and Willoughby said his staff doesn't know what happened to it.

Willoughby said because no charges were filed, the report should have been discarded because there was no reason to keep it.

Willoughby categorically denied leaking the document, but said the situation was embarrassing because it could have been his office's copy that was leaked.

Goldman and Malone are still members of the school board and are also running for higher office. Both Republicans, Goldman is a candidate for state auditor and Malone for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Malone has not commented to ABC11 on the report. Goldman allegedly denied any romantic link when she spoke to detectives. In a written statement to ABC11 earlier this week, she questioned the timing of the leak - just weeks before the election - saying it was obviously politically motivated.

"... the timing is designed to derail my campaign," she wrote in part.

Goldman is currently in the process of going through a divorce.

Her estranged husband, Steven Goldman, told ABC11 earlier this week that 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.

Ron Margiotta, who was serving as chairman of the school board at the time of the alleged burglary, told ABC11 that he suspected a romantic relationship between Goldman and Malone and that it was "common knowledge" to fellow board members.

The burglary 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 Goldman's vote could have been related.

"Could very well have been," he said.

Goldman has not commented on that allegation.

Other board members said even if there was a link between the Goldman's alleged relationship with Malone and her vote, there's little that could be done about it.

Board member Keith Sutton told ABC11 there are no official mechanisms by which the board can investigate the alleged affair - or if actual policies such as the assignment plan or busing - were affected by it.

"We don't have any steps, recourse, or set of actions to take.  We have not been entrusted with that kind of authority," he explained.

Political watchers have told ABC11 they expect the Goldman and Malone campaign's for higher office to be affected by the allegations. Even so, their seats on the school board are safe through 2013.

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