Democrat candidate for State Auditor Beth Wood, the Gov. Mike Easley and wife Mary, and Senator Tony Rand are trying to use a new audit done by State Auditor Leslie Merritt (right) for political purposes.
The audit was finally released this week after more than a month of delays from Senator Rand and Mary Easley. They refused to grant an interview to the State Auditor's office, which continues to be attacked Democrats, who don't like their culture of corruption exposed!
The audit showed that the taxpayers paid $110,000 for two trips to Europe taken by Mrs. Easley in 2007.
Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:
"State Auditor Leslie Merritt released an audit of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources yesterday that exposed unreasonable and excessive travel expenses by the department and First Lady Mary Easley. Predictably, the Democrat power structure that controls state government tried to shoot the messenger by claiming that the timing of the release was politically motivated. It is a documented fact that Mrs. Easley had every opportunity to be interviewed.
If the Democrats had not attempted to stonewall Auditor Merritt’s investigation, this report would have been released weeks ago. Instead, they tried to intimidate Auditor Merritt by hiring Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, who happens to have significant influence over the Auditor’s budget, as their attorney.
Auditor Merritt was not intimidated, and he did not back down in the face of political pressure or delay the release of this audit for political purposes just because it stepped on some high-profile toes. These are the kind of political games that have led to the culture of corruption in state government, and it is time for them to stop. Auditor Merritt demonstrated the kind of courage and leadership needed to clean up our state government."
Download the audit here, in pdf: