Leading NC House Republican member calls out McCrory
Nelson Dollar, a leader House Representative top budget writer recently called out Pat McCrory over his handling of the prison contracts. According to Dollar, McCrory should have consulted with a select legislative committee known as Gov Ops before extending the contract to friend and major campaign donor Graeme Keith. Dollar's comments correspond with a provision of the 2014 budget which states Gov Ops must be consulted before the signing of private prison maintenance contracts.
Read more at the News & Observer
A top legislative budget writer said Monday the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory should have consulted with the General Assembly about renewing private prison maintenance contracts that were awarded to a McCrory friend and campaign contributor.
On Saturday, The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer reported that Gov. Pat McCrory arranged a meeting in October 2014 between prison officials and Graeme Keith Sr., who proposed that his company take over private maintenance contracts at North Carolina’s 57 state prisons.
The McCrory administration took no action on expanding the contracts but did renew Keith’s private maintenance projects at three prisons on Dec. 31, 2014, over the objections of top prison officials.
On Monday, Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican and the chief budget writer in the chamber, said he believed the McCrory administration should have met with a powerful legislative committee known as Gov Ops before extending the contract.
“They could have consulted with Gov Ops and they chose not to,” Dollar said. “Or they could have easily come to Gov Ops in January after the fact, to explain their actions.”
Instead, the contract was renewed after a behind-the-scenes series of meetings within the McCrory administration.
Dollar’s comments highlight a provision in the state’s 2014 budget that says the Department of Public Safety shall consult with the Gov Ops committee before signing any private prison maintenance contracts.
Dollar’s wife, Lorrie, a lawyer and chief operating officer for the department, wrote a legal opinion last year that said the department must consult Gov Ops before extending such contracts. Her memo said the legislative Fiscal Research Division backed that view.