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Monday, November 28, 2011

Governor Perdue's former assistant Morganton Attorney Juleigh Sitton indicted on Felony Campaign charges

Associated Press - Grand jury indicts 3 with ties to Perdue campaign - Associated Press - GARY D. ROBERTSON & MICHAEL BIESECKER - November 28, 2011 - Grand jurors handed up indictments in state court against former Perdue campaign finance director Peter Reichard of Greensboro; Juleigh Sitton of Morganton, until recently the director of the governor's Western Office in Asheville; and Trawick H. "Buzzy" Stubbs Jr. of New Bern, a former law partner with Perdue's late first husband. Stubbs and Sitton were each charged with one count each of filing false campaign reports and obstruction of justice, according to the indictments, while Reichard was charged with one count of obstruction of justice. All the charges are felonies, with potential penalties ranging from community service to prison time.

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

Unnamed Source Paid for Perdue Campaign Flight - Lincoln Tribune - February 24, 2011


( The Hound ): Who can you trust in this area. Every time we see the light shined upon one of these issues it looks dirty. We always look to the eastern side of North Carolina and point a finger towards the corruption we see there. What about the corruption we see in our own backyard? It's the same thing!


The Hound: This is why the Hound is real journalism. We don't mind talking about the issues and we are constantly at the forefront of the issues. Where are the other local media outlets. You want to know what is going on, then this is the place to come find out.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe Perdue's statements that she didn't know about the dirty deals. With all the corruption we saw with her political ally, the previous governor, Gov. Mike "Sleazy" Easley and her pledge to have an ethically pristine campaign she had to know the law.
I think that the lesson to be learned is that when we have a government that is too powerful and invasive we get people who crave power enough to succumb to the win at all costs mentality. Like Perot once said " It's time to get the shovel and clean out the barn".

Silence DoGood said...

I can believe she didn't know. Not the brightest light on the string, as one might observe. However, I fail to see how laundering money to pay Juliegh Sitton under the table and off the official record constitutes a too powerful government and how it is invasive. I've got a feeling there was a conflict of interest somewhere in Juliegh's professional portfolio, so she had to be paid under the table to get paid in the position she was fulfilling. Apparently she had other pokers in the fire as well, so... there it is. As for the barn, it might be cheaper to just let it fall down and build a new one. I don't think we can get a backhoe through the door.

harryhipps said...

Can I say it now? Pat McRory in 2012.

Silence DoGood said...

No disrespect to you Harry, but, would that mean that the State Motto would change to the 'Queen State'?!?! You'd be right thinking I'm not a McCrory fan either.

James Thomas Shell said...

I think North Carolina's Motto should be "The Double Standard State."

If you are a Democrat and a Democrat breaks the law, then it's alright, because he's my Democrat and if it's a Republican and you're a Republican, then you fall all over yourself to make excuses for the Republican.

Frankly, I am sick of it all. I see so much corruption. We have an entitlement society. Look at these knob hobbing Richy Riches from both parties. They think they are entitled to make whatever money whatever way they want and they have sold the middle class out. Then look at the poor people looking to the knob hobbing political sycophants to throw them some crumbs to get through the day.

We need our freaking job base back. I understand the Global Economy better than anyone, but we don't have a freaking Global Economy. We have a bunch of cons in our political class that have been paid off by big business and they don't give two "you know whats" about the future and thus we have none.

Silence DoGood said...

Hmmm. After reading past the first sentence, how about the, "No Standard" State?

I've had more than one teeth gnashing with folks who think, condone, and admire those very same things you talk about and hold contempt for. In all seriousness, when does the good of the one or the few, outweigh the good of the many? It shouldn't, but it always seems to.

I'm not an economist, but I understand what is happening. But what do we do? What can we do? Vote them out? Changes the players but not the game? Every day that passes makes it patently obvious that it is going to take more than a mere changing of the players in order to fix this.

James Thomas Shell said...

Bull. Vote them out, Vote them out and Vote them out again until we get people who will operate within a system of integrity. We need term limits and an end to the career politician and professional lobbyists. That is what creates the situation that we see above. Don't lose sight of the big picture. You have people buying and selling influence.

These politicians are representative of the entitlement class. They feel entitled to their status and the rich and poor are supporting that structure. The system is wrapped around entitlement. We are a Socialist nation now. I hope that those who were poor and thought that socialism would be the panacea will enjoy it, because socialism is the highest form of cronyism. It's not what you know. It's who you know. There is no merit.

Silence DoGood said...

I have the big picture solidly in view. Case in point, legislators using their positions to get insider trading information... and it's LEGAL!! Now given a system such as that, we can change players all day long... but they end up playing the same silly game.

I think we are a pluralist society, at least was. We aren't a purely socialist society, nor capitalistic. Nor should we be. Every person in the nation doesn't fit within the models for either. Thus, a plurality. But the balance is severely tipped at the moment. And it's tipped toward that ruling elite entitlement class. And I'll say this before Boehner and McConnell take credit for the reduction in the unemployment rate. Count how many people are working, as opposed to how many people are unemployed. There's a better measure to gauge the success of the affluent 'creating' jobs in the 'we don't need to tax the wealthy' idiom. No, they shouldn't be taxed more than anyone else. That is inherently unfair. They should be taxed the same as everyone else and made to pay it. And yes, there should be a capital gains tax for any amount over $500,000.00 and if you sell more than one house a year that is in your name, you should have to pay a tax on that too. Diamond rings over 2 carats total weight, watches over $5,000, cars over $50,000, luxury tax. When there are people literally starving in this country and there are others flaunting diamonds the size of an aggie marble, and they both appear in the same 30 minutes worth of television programming, there is something seriously wrong in this country. When the people we sent to Washington to lead this nation threaten to allow people to starve in order to get votes to extend tax breaks for the entitled elites, there is something seriously wrong with the system. And when you only get 2-3% voter turnout in any election, there is something seriously wrong with us.