The adviser to Gov. Bev Perdue who is at the center of a controversy over his role in altering letters about toll road projects funding that were sent to lawmakers told a Senate committee investigating the issue that he acted in haste in a failed attempt to ensure support for the projects.
"I made a mistake," Pryor Gibson, senior adviser to Perdue, told the committee.
Asked if he regretted what he had done, Gibson, a former lawmaker, responded: "I think regret would be a soft word."
Gibson was questioned about a sequence of events last week that led to the letters being sent over the signature of a top transportation official, Jim Trogdon, that were opposite of Trogdon's and DOT's position on the need for funding for the projects over the next 12 months.
Trogdon had told lawmakers that money wasn't needed in the next year. The altered letters said it was. Gibson had worked with an assistant to Trogdon on the changes while Trogdon was out of town and unreachable. Trogdon, in testimony to the committee on Wednesday, had described a pressure-filled moment at his office where his aide was in a "very difficult position" and made the changes.
Gibson said he thought the changes would have been acceptable to Trogdon, which he now realizes was wrong. He said he wishes he had been more accurate.
"If there was pressure, it was not intended," Gibson said.
The committee said it will revisit the issue on Tuesday and make decisions about whether any other action is necessary.