The indictments accuse Sitton and Reichard of hiding that Sitton was being paid an additional $32,000 — $2,000 a month for 16 months — to work full-time for Perdue's campaign through outside money. The money was funneled through a merchant banking firm operated by Reichard called Tryon Capital Partners. Reichard solicited and accepted money from Morganton business owner Charles M. Fulenwider, according to the indictment. The money paid by Fulenwider, who has not been charged, was disguised as consulting services to Tyron that were never provided, the report said.
PDF Link to the Indictments - (Charlotte Observer)
PDF of Governor Bev Perdue's statement on the issue - (Charlotte Observer)
From the News and Observer (Raleigh) - 3 Perdue associates indicted - Dan Kane - November 28, 2011 - A Wake County grand jury today handed down indictments alleging that a top aide to Gov. Bev Perdue's 2008 campaign schemed to pay a staffer $32,000 for work that was kept off the books in violation of state election laws.
The new charges, all felonies, are part of a long-running investigation into Perdue campaign activities that have focused on expenditures that would have triggered election law violations for exceeding the limit on personal donations if they had been reported. Earlier this year a retired state magistrate was charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to hide an illegal campaign flight.
The indictment against him said his business, Tryon Capital Ventures, received $32,000 in contributions or loans from Charles Michael Fulenwider, a Perdue contributor from Morganton who owns fast food restaurants and had arranged several campaign flights for her. Reichard used the $32,000, disguised as consulting services, to compensate Julia Leigh Sitton, who later became the director of the governor's Western office. She is also known as Juleigh Sitton.
Sitton was charged with obstruction of justice and causing the Perdue campaign to file false reports. She resigned from the director's position in August and had been making $50,000 a year. She is a Morganton attorney who has long been active in Democratic political campaigns. Perdue campaign finance records show she was reimbursed for roughly $4,500 in campaign expenses in the 2008 election.
From the Burke Ed Blog: Judge Claude Sitton's Daughter Indicted by Grand Jury... but Morganton businessman Mike Fulenwider was not charged. - According to AP reports (which are everywhere on the World Wide Web since this story broke on 11/28/11 at 12:51pm), the Wake County grand jury indicted two attorneys (WPCC Trustee Juleigh Sitton, and Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs, Jr.), as well as a Greensboro businessman, Peter Reichard, with campaign violations. According to the AP, all charges are felonies with potential penalties ranging from community service to prison time.
The News & Observer's report states that Mike Fulenwider donated or loaned funds to Reichard's business, Tryon Capital Ventures, which then compensated Juleigh Sitton $2,000 per month for work on the Perdue campaign that was kept off the books. Sitton was charged with obstruction of justice and causing the campaign to file false reports, according to the News & Observer.
People seemed to know something was up when Juleigh Sitton resigned in August 2011. Recently, blog searches for "Juleigh Sitton", "Claude Sitton", "Juleigh Sitton resignation" have been prevalent, indicating someone was looking for the indictment story to break soon. The Hickory Hound blog ran their story on Morganton's Shenanigans on September 1, 2011. This was the first inclination that Juleigh Sitton may be accused in the matter.
From the Hickory Hound: Morganton Shenanigans - Wide Ranging & Far Reaching Implications - September 1, 2011 - The Governor is feeling the heat of corruption in the Democrat party. This is the reason for her "shake-up." Juliegh Sitton, an attorney from Morganton and until late last week was the Director of the Governor's Western Office, is accused of campaign "issue" involving a local millionaire in Morganton who is a Fast Food magnate. This Fast Food magnate has been implicated in several scandals including with the former Governor Mike Easley, Governor Bev Perdue, and from what I have read and heard the Football Scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Juleigh Sitton is the daughter of former Superior court Judge Claude Sitton.
Connect the Dots:
SBI investigates contributions for Perdue's campaign flights - Morganton News Herald - Mike Baker - October 8, 2010
Why Did Perdue Campaign Not Use Cheaper State Plane? - Carolina Journal - Don Carrington - September 30, 2010
Dozens Involved in Aircraft Provider Program for Perdue, Easley - Carolina Journal - Don Carrington - October 28, 2010