A Wake County Grand Jury indicted three former staff workers on Bev Perdue’s campaign committee for obstruction of justice and making false reports. The indictments are based on investigations by the State Board of Elections and the State Bureau of Investigation.
Perdue’s former finance chairman, Peter Anthony Reichard, was indicted for obstruction of justice. He was accused of scheming to allow a Perdue supporter, Charles Michael Fulenwider, to donate more than the maximum legal individual contribution of $4,000. The scheme helped pay the salary of another Perdue staff member, Julia Leigh Sitton. The indictment alleges Reichard had Fulenwider funnel $32,000 to the Reichard-owned Tryon Capital Ventures, which then went to pay Sitton. The compensation was not reported to the State Board of Elections.
The grand jury found Sitton continued the deception by not reporting the compensation from Fulenwider to the State Board or Elections or the campaign committee. Sitton was indicted for making a false report. Sitton, who was Director of the Governor’s Western Residence until August, was also indicted for obstruction of justice. The indictment claims Sitton worked for 16 months with the Perdue campaign without revealing she was paid by a source from outside the campaign committee. While Sitton was paid $3,000 per month by Perdue’s committee Tryon Capital Ventures was also paying her another $2,000 per month for a total of $32,000.
A New Bern attorney who worked with Perdue’s first husband was indicted for obstruction of justice and making false reports over the payment for a campaign flight. Trawick Hamilton Stubbs was accused of hiding donations to the Perdue committee that paid for $28,000 worth of flights in 2007 and 2008. Those payments were not reported to the State Board of Elections. The indictment alleges Stubbs reported the payments as contributions to the state Democratic Party when the flights benefited the Perdue campaign directly. By then Stubbs had already contributed the maximum individual amount to Perdue. The grand jury also indicted Stubbs for false reports to hide the payments.
Obstruction of justice is a felony and can carry a sentence of just fines to ten years in prison. A conviction of making a false report could also come with a fine or a few months in jail.