McCrory misstated the timing of those sales in public ethics forms he filed
He said his general counsel,
McCrory, a Republican, said he had committed no violations of ethics laws, and he criticized
"We haven't broken any rules or ethics violations or anything," the governor said. "We were trying to tell the truth."
Two days after he sold the last of his stock, the governor announced an "action plan" to tackle toxic coal ash at Duke's power plants across the state, his highest-profile response to the spill that occurred in early February.
The company had forecast billions in cleanup costs if the state required it, and debate raged about whether shareholders or Duke customers should pay.
Since the spill, the company's stock price has traded between
"It looks like he's trying to get rid of the stock both for the
Lawmakers have discussed but not passed major coal ash reforms.
McCrory said Thursday that his
The governor recalled watching TV in what he described as "the 15th news report of protesters asking me to sell" his Duke stock. He said he started "divesting" the next day because his "integrity was being challenged" and he wanted to put "this thing to bed."
In the first half of March, a left-leaning group called Progress NC Action led a series of protests asking McCrory to "come clean" on his ties with Duke, including about his stock holdings and campaign funding. One rally included about 100 protesters outside the
"This comes down to either startling incompetence, or an intentional effort to deceive the public," he said. "This failure to properly disclose a conflict of interest deserves further scrutiny."
'It is confusing'
That wasn't the case; Stephens said in an interview he thought the form was asking for a disclosure as of
Two weeks later, his office publicized the absence of Duke on the disclosure report, saying it "eliminates the often repeated, ridiculous and false, partisan left-wing attacks challenging the intent of our decisions and policies."
This week, McCrory amended the filing to reflect what it asks for, which are his holdings as of
McCrory signed the form as true. He had taken the
If he had filed the form correctly in April, as he now has, "It would have looked like I owned the stock when, in fact, I divested from it" at the time the report was filed, McCrory said.
Stephens said the forms should be updated to provide more clarity about the time frame covered. "It is confusing," Stephens said.
The form asks for disclosures in a series of categories, such as real estate and stocks, "as of
The specific questions for each category ask for information in the present tense, such as "Do you ... own interests (generally stock) valued at
McCrory will not say how much stock he owned.
On Wednesday, a spokesman would say only that McCrory had sold the stock sometime
Stephens said the sales were in multiple transactions over that period but could not explain "why brokers do that."
Vacancy on commission
Meeting with reporters outside an education event, McCrory said he was "amazed" at questions about the disclosures.
"There were so many media reports of me being requested to sell the energy stock to clear any possible conflicts of interest -- I actually did it," McCrory said.
Oversight for ethics matters in
That leaves the commission with four Democrats and three Republicans. Its acting chairman is a Democrat and lawyer,
The replacement for Tyson's seat will be decided by House Speaker
But McCrory, as governor, has the authority to choose the chairman from any of the commission members.
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