News: CJ Exclusives

Hagan Stimulus File Shows Significant Family Involvement

Senator’s son, son-in-law received $12,785 in direct payments

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include links to PDFs of the files referenced at the end. Also, the final bullet point at the end of the text was edited to accommodate a new PDF file.

RALEIGH — Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and her campaign maintain that Solardyne/Green State Power, a company co-owned by Sen. Hagan’s husband Chip and son Tilden, did minimal work on solar installations for Plastic Revolutions at JDC Manufacturing in Reidsville. JDC is co-owned by Chip Hagan, and Chip is an officer at Plastic Revolutions.

Attorneys for the Hagan campaign say JDC Manufacturing never paid Solardyne/Green State Power, citing a story published Oct.17 and updated Oct. 18 in The News & Observer, saying records provided by the company don’t show any payments to Solardyne/Green State Power.

On Tuesday, Washington, D.C., attorney Kate Sawyer Keane of the Perkins Coie law firm, which provided an “ethics opinion” about the stimulus either for Kay or Chip Hagan, sent a letter to local television affiliates across North Carolina, warning them not to run an ad by the independent group Freedom Partners Action Fund claiming that the Hagans benefited from the grant. Sawyer’s letter called the ad’s claims “inflammatory and unsubstantiated,” and WLOS-TV in Asheville stopped running the ad.

(Related story here.)

However, a Carolina Journal examination of the JDC Manufacturing grant file at the N.C. Department of Natural Resources revealed that Tilden Hagan and William Stewart, Sen. Hagan’s son-in-law, had significant involvement in the project. Records from the stimulus file show direct payments to Tilden and Stewart of $12,785. They may have additional compensation that was not reflected in the public records. Moreover, William Stewart now is listed as a manager of Green State Power.

Some examples of their activities follow:

• On Nov. 18, 2010, groSolar, a Vermont-based solar equipment supplier, invoiced Tilden Hagan of Solardyne at 408 Coolidge St., Chapel Hill, N.C., for 216 solar panels and other equipment totaling $137,916. The address is Tilden Hagan’s home. The invoice stated the products were to be shipped to John Hagan at Solardyne located at 1704 Barnes St. in Reidsville (the location of the JDC building).

• On Dec. 1, 2010, Tilden Hagan, on behalf of JDC Manufacturing issued a purchase order to Solar Electric Distributor of Denver, Colo., for numerous items totaling $12,502.64. He listed his contact information as [email protected]

• On Dec. 7, 2010, groSolar invoiced Tilden Hagan of Solardyne in Chapel Hill for another order totaling $22,927. Items were to be shipped to Solardyne at the JDC building in Reidsville.

• On Dec. 8, 2010, Tilden Hagan on behalf of JDC Manufacturing issued a purchase order to Sunbelt Transformer in South Carolina for $7,695 for equipment.

• For the week ending Dec. 11, 2010, contractor Circuitmakers Inc. paid Tilden Hagan $420 for his services as an electrician.

• On Dec. 14, 2010, groSolar invoiced Tilden Hagan of Solardyne in Chapel Hill for another order totaling $100.54. Items were to be shipped to Solardyne at the JDC building in Reidsville.

• On Dec. 17, 2010, Tilden Hagan from [email protected] contacted John Hagan: “I’m bringing with me tomorrow the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) from Duke which I’ve signed but when I return it to Duke I need to include the check for $28,901.59 from JDC Manufacturing. Let me know if it would be best for me to leave it somewhere at the plant or if my Dad can write a check from JDC. It needs to go out on Monday so we can be sure they’ll start their side of the construction as soon as possible to be done before year end.”

• For the week ending Dec. 18, 2010, contractor Circuitmakers Inc. paid Tilden Hagan $360 for his services as an electrician.

• On Dec. 21, 2010, groSolar invoiced Tilden Hagan of Solardyne in Chapel Hill for another order totaling $449.39. Items were to be shipped to Solardyne at the JDC building in Reidsville.

• For the week ending Dec. 24, 2010, contractor Circuitmakers Inc. paid William Stewart $400 for his services as a general laborer.

• For the week ending Dec. 31, 2010, subcontractor William Stewart paid William Stewart $525 and a laborer under his supervision $435 for services as general laborers on the JDC project.

• On Dec. 31, 2010, William Stewart invoiced Plastic Revolutions a total of $2,772.50, itemized as $1,325 for 53 hours at $25 an hour for him, and $1447.50 for 96.5 hours at $15 an hour for the general labor of unspecified workers he apparently supervised.

• On Jan. 31, 2011, Plastic Revolutions billed JDC Manufacturing $12,677.90 for the solar project. Included in that total was $2,772.50 to William Stewart for contracting services. Plastic Revolutions and JDC are owned by the Hagan family.

• On Jan 11, 2011, Circuitmakers Inc. invoiced Plastic Revolutions for $3,405 for the labor of Tilden Hagan and $1,620 for the labor of William Stewart.

• For the week ending Jan. 15, 2011, contractor Circuitmakers Inc. paid Tilden Hagan $90 for his services as an electrician.

• On Feb. 3, 2011, William Stewart invoiced Plastic Revolutions $1,867.99 for labor and materials on the JDC project.

• On May 2, 2011, the N.C. Department of Commerce sent a site visit report to JDC Manufacturing grantee representatives John Hagan and Tilden Hagan. The report states project is closed.

• On July 19, 2011, N.C. Department of Commerce official Starlett Hodge emailed program manager Nichele Parker following up with Tilden Hagan at [email protected] and others that a JDC site visit was planned for July 27.

Don Carrington is executive editor of Carolina Journal.