The group that filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Pat McCrory this week is pushing him to clarify his former relationship to his brother's company. Progress N.C. Action's complaint with the State Ethics Commission says omissions in his statement of economic interest forms have prevented the full extent of his business ties from being made public.
Part of the liberal group's complaint focuses on McCrory's work for his brother's sales consulting firm, McCrory & Company. In federal filings by other companies the governor had worked for before he was elected, and on the McCrory & Company website, McCrory was described as a partner in his brother's firm.
On state disclosures in 2012, McCrory described himself at McCrory & Company as a "contractor" who had earned a consulting fee for "sales training." In 2013, he described income he received from the company as a "consultant" fee.
He became governor in 2013, and did not declare any income from his brother's firm for that year. McCrory & Company has a range of clients, including some businesses that target publicly-funded work, according to its website.
McCrory declined to answer questions about the ethics complaint this week other than to say he was part of the company's paid staff until he became governor. Later Monday, the governor's chief legal counsel said "partner" was a "working title" and that McCrory never actually held that position.
Progress N.C. Action on Thursday held a conference call with reporters to draw attention to McCrory's comment, saying it further confused the issue. The governor's office did not provide further explanation Thursday. On Monday, chief counsel Bob Stephens said the complaint had no merit.