FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RALEIGH – Civitas President Donald Bryson will be filing a complaint* Wednesday morning with the North Carolina Ethics Commission. This complaint requests the Ethics Board issue an opinion regarding Governor Roy Cooper’s recent decision to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC. Civitas requests that special attention be given to the details surrounding the $57.8 million “slush fund.”
Civitas’s complaint questions the ethics of this action by Governor Cooper—while acting in his official capacity—to issue state permits for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in what appears to be an exchange for private funds to be used at the governor’s discretion.
There are questions surrounding whether or not these funds could be considered an illegal gift under the State Government Ethics Act’s gift ban. Of particular concern is the potential that these funds might trickle into projects or accounts that benefit Governor Cooper and/or his political campaigns.
If declared ethical, this action sets a terrible precedent for what our elected officials can do outside of the constitutional process.
“This is a serious matter of public trust and transparency,” Bryson said.
“The Cooper administration has provided so few details about this unprecedented new slush fund. It’s critical the people of North Carolina know exactly what happened and whether any of Cooper’s actions violate ethics laws. We hope the Ethics Commission will provide details and issue a clear opinion on the governor’s actions.”
You can read the complaint in its entirety here.
*A technical correction was made to the first paragraph of the complaint and is reflected in the updated version.
Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.