State Politics

GOP leader complains about Cooper to Bar

[UPDATED WITH LETTER] The chairman of the North Carolina Republican party wrote a letter to the State Bar on Monday complaining that Attorney General Roy Cooper improperly impugned Gov. Pat McCrory during last week’s gubernatorial debate.

Cooper said during the debate that McCrory was under investigation by the FBI. It involved a probe of private prison maintenance contracts awarded to a major campaign donor. The next day federal prosecutors said they had closed out the case without bringing charges against the governor or the contractor.

Robin Hayes, a former congressman, said in his letter that he was writing as a private citizen. Last week, the GOP said its lawyers were looking into legal action against the attorney general, but none has beent aken. Cooper should have known the status of the case even if it wasn’t made public, Hayes said.

“Nevertheless, I am also greatly concerned by the attorney general’s apparent use of his public office to bolster false claims of an ongoing federal criminal investigation against his political opponent,” Hayes wrote.

“This political attack from the Republican Party has no basis in reality,” said Ford Porter, Cooper’s campaign spokesman. “Governor McCrory has yet to explain when he met with the FBI, the nature of the investigation, and when the inquiry concluded. He should do so now.”

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO

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