Regarding the Jan. 21 Under the Dome item “ Governor’s brother defines ‘partner’ ”: I read with wonder the effort by Phil McCrory to explain why Gov. Pat McCrory was described as a partner in McCrory & Company releases but not listed as a partner in Pat’s financial disclosure filings.
My wonder was whether Pat’s lawyers bothered to inform Phil of his own legal liabilities. While Phil correctly notes the word “partner” has many meanings, prospective clients of the company reading its literature would rightly assume one meaning given the context, legal business partner.
If this assumption is correct, then Pat made false statements on his disclosure filings. If this assumption is not correct, then McCrory & Company may need Pat’s lawyers.
The Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act makes it illegal for a business to mislead clients about what it provides. If a client thought it was getting fully engaged business partner Pat but only got occasional contractor Pat, then that client was deceived by McCrory & Company’s advertising.
While overstating the level to which Pat McCrory was involved with the company might have “made sense for marketing and business reasons,” it was a serious error in judgment.