Source: Dennis Draughon, Capitol Broadcasting
House Speaker Tim Moore is no stranger to corrupt deals and conflicts of interest. Well, it’s time to add one more to the list.
- In his capacity as House Speaker, Moore is currently overseeing legislation that would let Duke Energy raise rates on consumers. In his capacity as an attorney, Moore is suing Duke Energy on behalf of the family of a farmer who was electrocuted while driving his tractor under a low-hanging Duke power line.
- How is this a conflict of interest? Moore stands to make a lot of money if Duke Energy gives a big settlement to his client instead of fighting the claim in court. And Duke Energy stands to make a lot of money if the rate-setting bill passes. What’s to stop Moore from pushing through the rate-setting bill in exchange for a large settlement from Duke?
- It might be one thing if Moore had a spotless record when it comes to corruption. But that’s not the case. Some of Moore’s “greatest hits” include:
- Bogus chicken plant deal: Bought an abandoned chicken processing plant for $85,000 in 2013 and sold it in 2016 for $550,000 (a $465,000 profit) after using his influence to prevent DEQ from taking pollution enforcement action against the site.
- Blatant nepotism: Secured a $90,000 state job for his girlfriend, for which no other applicants were considered — a clear violation of state hiring laws. Also hired his buddy, ex-lawmaker Nelson Dollar, for a six-figure job on Moore’s staff after Dollar was defeated in 2018.
- Kickbacks on Durham development deal: Took $40,000 in legal fees and nearly $70,000 in campaign donations from a Durham developer in exchange for passing special legislation benefiting the developer. Now under SBI investigation for the corrupt deal.
- Wining and dining with campaign funds: Failed to disclose over $60,000 in fine dining and travel charges paid for with his campaign credit card, despite sponsoring the law requiring itemization of such spending. He also failed to disclose that he was paying $23,000 in “rent” to his own company for a condo in Raleigh.
- Pay-for-play at teachers’ expense: Received campaign contributions from construction industry players who were pushing legislation to divert state funding for personnel to school construction instead. Also voted to allow lenders to charge higher interest rates and fees after the industry hired lobbyists and steered campaign contributions to key lawmakers.
- Making it harder to investigate corrupt politicians: Speaker Tim seems like he has a lot to hide. Is it any wonder why he has repeatedly pushed misguided laws that make it harder for the state ethics board to go after corrupt politicians, and keep ethics investigations secret?
Tim Moore once again stands to benefit financially thanks to his influence as House Speaker. His corruption should be investigated as well.