As pay-to-play scandal continues, 5 questions for McCrory

Raleigh, NC – The pay-to-play scandal surrounding the McCrory administration continued to grow last week when the Raleigh News & Observer reported that the governor’s office did, in fact, review a Department of Public Safety report indicating that private prison maintenance contracts did not result in savings for the state.


The governor’s office has criticized the study since public reports that Gov. McCrory personally intervened on behalf of a campaign donor whose company was set to lose state contracts based on DPS’ findings. At the meeting, the donor reportedly demanded the contracts be extended as quid pro quo after contributions to the McCrory Campaign. The contracts were ultimately extended over the objection of public safety officials, who said the decision “will soil our gov.” However, at a recent Gov Ops Committee hearing, administration officials said they intended to not renew the contracts again this next year, after reports of an FBI investigation into potential corruption.


While new details continue to be exposed, several pressing questions remain.


1)When did the governor learn of Graeme Keith’s demands for quid pro quo and if he didn’t hear them directly – who initially told him?


Governor McCrory has insisted that he did not hear Keith’s comments in the meeting, claiming to have been in a “side conversation.”  When specifically did he learn of these demands and how did that knowledge affect the contract extension?


2)Where was the governor sitting in the meeting with Graeme Keith?


Governor McCrory has insisted he didn’t hear demands for quid pro quo because he was in a “side conversation.” According to reports, the governor opened the meeting before turning the agenda over to Keith. Where specifically was the governor at the time of the quid pro quo demands, and with whom was he speaking?


3)Has the governor retained or spoken to outside counsel regarding the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption?


4)Was the DPS memo detailing the McCrory/Keith meeting intentionally destroyed? If so, on whose instruction?


At the recent Gov. Op’s meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown continually pressed DPS Secretary Frank Perry on the deletion of a memo detailing the quid pro quo demands of Graeme Keith. While a hard copy of the memo was provided in a DPS public records request, Perry testified that the electronic record had been destroyed.


5)Will Governor McCrory continue to accept political contributions tied to state contracts?


It is undisputed that Graeme Keith gave $12,000 to the McCrory campaign with the expectation that he would receive millions in state contracts in return. Will the McCrory campaign continue the practice of accepting contributions from donors who intend to compete for state contracts?