The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles released records Tuesday that showed the free meals happened before and after the big telecom company won expansion of a multi-million dollar contract, one that was not competitively bid on.
The meals ranged from modest fast food at Subway to fancy steaks at Sullivan's, The Chop House and Raleigh's 42nd Street Oyster Bar.
Verizon said it volunteered the embarrassing information, and that prompted the DMV to request the criminal investigation. The SBI is now looking into what happened.
Sixty two DMV employees and their friends and family benefitted from free meals from August of 2006 to January of 2009.
After news of the meals became public, Governor Beverly Perdue issued an order banning state employees from taking gifts from companies doing business with the state.