Carolina Journal News Reports
CJ Series

Gov. Perdue's Aircraft Providers

In the wake of the State Board of Elections' investigation of campaign flights provided to former Gov. Mike Easley and the 2008 candidates for governor, Board of Elections investigators found reporting irregularities and some illegalities from the 2008 Perdue for Governor campaign. The board fined the Perdue committee $30,000 in August 2010. But other questions remain unanswered.

(4.25.13) Three More Perdue Donors Convicted In Campaign Probe
RALEIGH — Three associates of former Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue — New Bern attorney Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs, Morganton businessman Charles Michael Fulenwider, and former Western Piedmont Community College board member Robert Lee Caldwell — were convicted Wednesday of misdemeanor charges for obstruction of justice in an investigation of fundraising violations during Perdue’s 2008 campaign for governor.

(4.25.13) Our Incurious Ex-Governor
How could Bev Perdue be so out of touch as her top advisers were hatching a criminal conspiracy inside her campaign?

(4.09.13) Grand Jury Wants Perdue Donor Investigated
RALEIGH — A Wake County grand jury Monday suggested one of Democratic former Gov. Bev Perdue’s donors obstructed justice by violating campaign finance laws. In a presentment, the grand jury asked Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby to investigate Charles Michael Fulenwider of Morganton, who has been named in other campaign irregularities involving Perdue’s re-election efforts.

(9.21.12) Second Perdue Associate Pleads Guilty in Campaign Finance Probe
RALEIGH — Sitton is the second official with the 2008 Perdue campaign to plead guilty to violations associated with campaign finance activities. Greensboro businessman Peter Reichard, the finance director of the 2008 Perdue campaign, took a felony plea in December 2011, accepting a $25,000 fine and two years’ probation.

(6.04.12) Perdue Team Headed To Court
RALEIGH — Even though Gov. Bev Perdue’s 2008 campaign for governor ended nearly four years ago, the upcoming trial of New Bern attorney Trawick “Buzzy” Stubbs should offer further insight into her campaign’s mysterious aircraft provider program.

(6.04.12) Trial of Perdue Associates Stubbs, Sitton on Hold
RALEIGH — The campaign finance trials of two associates of and fundraisers for Gov. Bev Perdue have been placed on hold until a state appeals court can rule on motions filed by both defendants. The trials will not go forward until the N.C. Court of Appeals rules on the motions.

(5.03.12) Former Perdue Allies Fear Guilt By Association
RALEIGH — Citing Gov. Bev Perdue’s widespread unpopularity, attorneys for Julia Leigh Sitton and Trawick “Buzzy” Stubbs — who played significant roles in Perdue’s 2008 campaign for governor — have filed motions asking for special treatment during the jury selection process in their upcoming trials.

(3.29.12) Perdue Aircraft Provider Seeks GOP Senate Seat
RALEIGH — Either Randy Ramsey or Jarrett Bay Boatworks is connected with at least four flights provided to the 2008 Perdue campaign for governor, based on records from an investigation by the State Board of Elections. Ramsey says he recalls providing two of the flights.

(3.05.12) Sitton, Former Perdue Campaign Worker and Employee, Pleads Not Guilty
RALEIGH — Julia Leigh Sitton is charged with obstruction of justice and causing false campaign reports to be filed. Her indictment says a portion of her salary with the 2008 Perdue campaign was paid with funds from a maxed-out campaign donor.

(3.01.12) Perdue Friend ‘Buzzy’ Stubbs Pleads Not Guilty
RALEIGH — Stubbs, through his attorney David Long, on Monday filed a “Waiver of Arraignment” in Wake County Superior Court, entering "a plea of not guilty to the charges” against him. The two specific charges are obstruction of justice and causing the Perdue campaign committee to file false reports.

(2.27.12) Perdue Associates Get Court Dates For Fundraising Violations
RALEIGH — Attorneys Juleigh Sitton, Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs, and former Perdue campaign finance director Peter Reichard, a Greensboro businessman, were indicted on felony charges by a Wake County grand jury Nov. 28.

(1.09.12) Questions Remain About Perdue Flight Operation
RALEIGH — The lieutenant governor’s office scheduled flights for official business for Bev Perdue from a list of “aircraft providers” maintained by the Perdue campaign. Providers were not reimbursed for official business. Perdue insists she was unaware of the program at the time.

(1.06.12) CJ Editorial: Flight Plan Clear As Mud
Even after four supporters of her 2008 campaign have been indicted for fundraising violations -- and one has been convicted -- Gov. Bev Perdue has refused to speak in detail on the charges.

(12.15.11) Convicted Perdue Donor Reichard Involved in Scheme to Hide Illegal Contributions
RALEIGH — Peter Reichard, along with three other Perdue associates, are implicated in two additional schemes to skirt campaign laws and deliver illegal funds to the governor’s election efforts.

(12.13.11) Indicted Perdue Supporter Hints at Defense Strategy
RALEIGH — Businessman Peter Reichard faces a felony obstruction of justice charge for accepting $32,000 from maxed-out campaign donor Charles M. “Mike” Fulenwider. Reichard used Fulenwider’s money to pay a portion of the salary of Juleigh Sitton, whom Perdue hired to run the governor’s western North Carolina office.

(12.01.11) Support Groups Vary For Indicted Perdue Team Members
RALEIGH — When high-powered political operatives get indicted in North Carolina they know they’re going to have to run a gauntlet of media types as they head to the local magistrate to get their mug shots taken.

(11.29.11) Grand Jury Indicts Three from Perdue’s Campaign Team
RALEIGH — A Wake County grand jury indicted three people on Monday for illegal activity associated with the financing of Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s 2008 campaign for governor.

(2.24.11) Unnamed Source Paid for Perdue Campaign Flight
RALEIGH — According to the Wake County grand jury indictment, Robert Caldwell solicited a check from Morganton barber James D. Fleming to pay for the flight, and then reimbursed him with cash from the “unnamed source.” Fleming’s check was used to hide the actual source of the funds, the indictment states.

(2.08.11) Perdue Campaign Donor Indicted
RALEIGH — The indictment, signed by Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, is for obstruction of justice, a felony. Carolina Journal reported on the unusual actions of Caldwell in September.

(12.23.10) Perdue Calls Campaign Violations ‘Inexcusable,’ But Won’t Identify Offenders
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue said she had no plans to either take action against those named in the elections board reports or prevent them from taking a role in a possible re-election campaign.

(12.22.10) VIDEO: Gov. Perdue Conducts Year-End Press Event
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue met with reporters Wednesday at the Executive Mansion, taking questions on a variety of issues.

(10.28.10) Dozens Involved in Aircraft Provider Program for Perdue, Easley
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue has confirmed that federal investigators are questioning a number of people who were involved with her 2008 gubernatorial campaign. Investigators may be interested in why Perdue waited so long to report and pay for a number of flights, or if the campaign had no intention of paying for them.

(10.27.10) Perdue Did Not Pay for Official Travel
RALEIGH — Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson told Carolina Journal that travel provided to Bev Perdue when she was conducting official state business was treated by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor as a gift to the state from those providing the flights. Perdue also has acknowledged that her campaign committee did not pay a number of aircraft providers for campaign-related airplane travel in a timely manner.

(10.25.10) An October Surprise on Perdue?
The most likely explanation for federal interest in the Perdue flights is as a natural extension of the preexisting investigation of the Easley flights.

(10.19.10) Perdue Campaign Bookkeeper Works for U. S. Department of Justice
RALEIGH — As compliance director for the Perdue campaign, Priya Sarathy would have been responsible for making sure that contributions to Perdue’s gubernatorial campaign followed state election laws. The flights are at the heart of a State Board of Elections investigation that recently expanded to a criminal probe by the State Bureau of Investigation.

(10.04.10) Questions Remain From Perdue Flight Documents
RALEIGH — Documents obtained by the State Board of Elections in its investigation of Gov. Bev Perdue’s campaign flights have led to a criminal inquiry by Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby and the State Bureau of Investigation.

(10.01.10) Elections Board Has Not Interviewed Donors About Flights
RALEIGH — Elections Board Chairman Larry Leake acknowledged to Carolina Journal that the board has questioned only one flight provider under oath at a public hearing, and, further, that it has not taken sworn testimony from any campaign workers about the questionable flights.

(9.30.10) Why Did Perdue Campaign Not Use Cheaper State Plane?
RALEIGH — Bev Perdue's 2008 campaign committee used a convoluted and inefficient system to arrange flights for her gubernatorial campaign.

(8.27.10) Perdue Campaign Advised Stubbs on Flights
The discussion between attorney Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs and Perdue campaign officials shows a greater involvement than has been admitted by the campaign in efforts to find ways to report, after the fact, flights that violated state campaign law.

(8.26.10) Why Shouldn’t I Believe Them?
I believe Wallace’s explanation that the reason the Perdue team had failed to report the 42 flights was because the campaign kept sloppy records.

(8.24.10) VIDEO: Perdue Campaign Fined $30,000 For Unreported Flights
ASHEVILLE — The board voted 4-1 in favor of the fine. Republican member Bill Peaslee was the only member to vote against. Another motion to hold public hearings related to the investigation of campaign flights failed by a 2-3 vote.

(8.23.10) Perdue Attorney Knew About Unreported Campaign Flights
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue's campaign received more than $28,000 in unreported free air travel over a 20-month period from her friend New Bern attorney Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs, according to a report by State Board of Elections investigator Kim Westbrook Strach.

(2.12.10) Advice Perdue Should Take
In the minds of many North Carolina voters, the Perdue administration is a continuation of the Easley administration. That’s a bit unfair on two counts.