AP NEWS

North Carolina Senate leader says lease transactions lawful

November 6, 2019 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A powerful North Carolina legislator has been spending campaign money toward leasing a house he and his wife own in Raleigh, but state election officials have told Senate leader Phil Berger such transactions are lawful.

A Berger campaign spokesman provided emails supporting the practice on Wednesday, when a retired campaign reform group leader announced he wants a State Board of Elections investigation and ruling over the Berger committee’s activities.

Bob Hall’s complaint says the house was purchased in 2016. Berger’s campaign has been making $1,500 monthly payments to a firm that Phil Berger manages.

Berger’s campaign said then-board Executive Director Kim Strach approved the practice in 2016 and it was reaffirmed in the spring. State law allows campaign money be used for expenses resulting from running for or holding office.