Perdue responds to Easley investigation

RALEIGH While at the state capitol honoring volunteer service Monday evening, Perdue spoke out for the first time since state elections officials decided there was evidence Easley's campaign broke finance laws.

"I look forward to the matter being resolved," Perdue said.

Last week, the State Board of Elections penalized the former governor's campaign $100,000 for unreported airplane flights and asked prosecutors to investigate whether laws were broken.

Perdue called the investigation a distraction and admitted it has put a negative light on state politics.

"The cynicism things like this can cause, even a discussion, is dangerous for democracy," she said.

After revelations of Easley's unreported flights, the Perdue campaign admitted in August that she too had failed to report 17 flights during her run for governor.

The campaign reimbursed almost $19,000, saying it discovered the flights after performing an audit that was prompted by a software error.

However, in light of the Easley findings, Perdue found herself firmly defending her campaign again Monday.

"Anytime we saw anything at all that could present a distraction toward our campaign we paid it and cleared it up right then," she said, "So I feel very comfortable about my campaign, we have worked hand in glove with the Board of Elections."

Eyewitness News asked Perdue if she had been questioned by anyone during the investigation and she said no.

Meanwhile, Perdue's communications director announced Monday he was stepping down from his job.

David Kochman said leaving was the right decision for him and his family.

His last day in Perdue's office has not been finalized and there's no word on his replacement.

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