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Carolina Journal reports: Elections board recommends possible prosecution of Democratic Rep. Moore

Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports:

State elections officials referred four-term state Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, for investigation and possible prosecution, saying there was “clear and convincing evidence” he failed to report more than $141,000 in election campaign receipts and expenditures.

The nine-member Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously Wednesday, Oct. 17, to ask the Mecklenburg County district attorney to investigate Moore, former campaign treasurer Tammy Neal, and the Committee to Elect Rodney W. Moore for misuse of funds, filing false reports, and obstructing a state audit.

Moore, co-chairman of the House Finance Committee, lost a primary re-election bid in May. Neither Moore, Neal, nor anyone from his campaign appeared at the meeting to answer the allegations.

Elections Board Executive Director Kim Strach said a routine audit into Moore’s campaign reports in May 2017 uncovered a series of questionable items, triggering an elections board investigation.

There was “a failure to disclose a large number of contributions, and more expenditures, and filing false reports, because all of these reports were filed under penalty of perjury,” Strach said

“As the altered documents show, clearly this committee engaged in obstructing our audit, and obstructing our ability to determine whether or not the committee was in compliance.”

Strach, who has conducted campaign finance investigations into former governors, House members, and senators since 2000, said there is strong reason to believe Moore’s election campaign spent money on impermissible items. She said most glaring were more than $25,000 in ATM cash withdrawals and cash-back transactions on retail purchases.

“The whole point of campaign finance disclosure is that the public has the opportunity to see where candidates are getting their money, and how they are spending their money,” Strach said.

“Clearly with this committee, the majority of transactions that came in and out of that committee, the public never got to see, so I think it’s very serious,” Strach said.

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