McCrory admits failure to disclose luxury hotel stays on ethics form
Despite repeated claims that he filled out his ethics forms correctly, Gov. McCrory now admits he should have disclosed numerous trips to lavish hotels paid for by a political group
RALEIGH -- The State Ethics Commission is already conducting an inquiry into Gov. McCrory’s pattern of omitting key financial information from his state ethics form, but now yet another glaring omission has surfaced on the governor's ethics forms.
Gov. McCrory has repeatedly failed to properly disclose a number of political trips which were paid for by the Republican Governors Association. These summits were held behind closed doors at some of the country’s most luxurious and expensive hotels, with unknown corporate donors. Unless the governor personally paid for all of his expenses, the trips should have been disclosed as gifts under question 17 of the Statement of Economic Interest form.
“The governor has already established a clear pattern of omitting key information from his ethics forms,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “Now, this disturbing trend continues with the discovery that Gov. McCrory has been flying around the country for closed-door meetings at luxury resorts with unknown corporate donors. ”
In November 2013, the RGA paid for Gov. McCrory’s stay at an Arizona resort featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” with rooms starting at $400 per night. The five-star resort features marble imported from Italy, ceilings etched in 24-karat gold, 11 rare Steinway pianos, and a “lush tropical landscape” manicured by workers from the island kingdom of Tonga. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the RGA also paid for McCrory’s stays at luxury hotels in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Charleston, South Carolina in May and September of 2013. Gov. McCrory also attended an RGA junket in 2014, held at a 356-acre resort in Boca Raton, Florida with “a spa built to resemble the Alhambra Palace in Spain” and rooms which start at over $300 per night. But McCrory never reported these free trips as gifts.
“Since taking office, Gov. McCrory has failed to disclose six-figure payouts from a company that is regulated by the state, stock holdings from a company which has agreed to a plea deal for polluting our state’s rivers, and free stays at luxury resorts which most North Carolinians could never afford,” added Brenner. “Maybe our ethically-challenged governor doesn’t think these outrageous perks are a conflict of interest, but North Carolina voters know better.”