Bev Purdue’s Staffers Draft False Letters To Secure Highway Funds
I’m sure the already scandal-plagued Bev Purdue administration could have done without this. Purdue, a Craven County Democrat, was just named as the least popular governor in America. Now, she’s probably going to drop even lower. It looks like a couple of her staffers wrote some bogus letters in an effort to get the money flow started on projects the NCDOT says won’t be ready for funding until 2014 at the earliest. From the Charlotte Observer:
Gov. Bev Perdue’s staff drafted a pair of false letters last week in an effort to start the flow of money for two major toll road projects that transportation officials say won’t be ready for state funding until 2014, according to documents obtained by The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
The documents indicate that Perdue herself was involved in the issue, which concerns a budget debate over $63 million in start-up money for the Garden Parkway, a highway project near Charlotte, and a planned bridge to the northern Outer Banks known as the Mid-Currituck Bridge.
The letters were rushed to legislators Thursday morning over the signature of Jim Trogdon, chief operating officer of the state Department of Transportation. Trogdon disavowed the letters and retracted them Thursday afternoon.
Here’s where it gets real shady:
Trogdon had been out of town when the false letters were drafted Thursday morning on DOT stationery, with his signature. He serves as a major general in the N.C. National Guard and was in Charlotte for security meetings related to the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
When he returned to Raleigh that afternoon, he took steps to cancel the letters. He said in a follow-up letter to tell lawmakers that he had not authorized his signature on the twin letters. He said they had been sent to legislators “without my review or consent.”
“I respectfully request that the letters be disregarded,” Trogdon wrote Thursday afternoon.
I’m pretty sure they knew he was gone and as much as they want to spin this as not a big deal, this administration has been involved in way too many scandals, shady politics, and outright deception to be given any benefit of the doubt. I am glad the NC Senate Rules Committee has decided to look into this matter and see what this was all about. Something doesn’t smell right here.
UPDATE: Pat McCrory, GOP gubernatorial nominee , has issued the following statement on these altered letters:
“If the reports are accurate, the blatant manipulation of data and facts to mislead is a continuation of the culture of deception and corruption by the executive branch. The current deafening silence from the Governor and Lt. Governor about another example of North Carolina’s broken government is a reminder that it will take an outsider to fix it,” said Pat McCrory. “There are many questions that deserve an answer from our executive leadership, including who knew what when about the falsification of documents with the intent to mislead. We call on the Governor to ask for an SBI review of this matter.”
If Democrats keep this kind of nonsense up, Pat McCrory will cruise to victory in November.