Editorial: Pay-to-play allegations must be investigated

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Yet another newspaper editorial is calling for an investigation into the alarming pay-to-play allegations reported by the News and Observer. It's time for McCrory to come clean. 

From the Winston-Salem Journal, 

The FBI is apparently asking questions about recent allegations that Gov. Pat McCrory improperly helped broker a government contract for Graeme Keith Sr., a friend and political donor, who wanted to renew $3 million in private prison contracts and possibly expand the contracts, according to reports in The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh’s News & Observer.

We hope there will be a thorough investigation.

McCrory arranged and attended a meeting between Keith and Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry in October 2014, the papers reported. Perry was reluctant to renew the contracts, contending that private maintenance wasn’t saving money and posed a greater security risk.

Keith stated that he had been working on private prison maintenance for over 10 years, during that time donating a lot of money to political candidates, and said “it was now time for him to get something in return,” according to a Department of Public Safety memo.

Keith gave a total of $12,000 to McCrory from 2008 through 2012, the papers reported.

McCrory said he didn’t hear the statement about “something in return” because he was involved in a side conversation and he would have “walked out” if he heard it, the papers reported.

Still, that’s a pretty big detail to miss.

A series of behind-the-scenes meetings and message exchanges followed, and the contract was extended despite Perry’s protests, the newspapers reported.

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