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DA: No wrongdoing found in payments to House speaker

January 29, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor said Monday that she found no wrongdoing related to payments from a pharmaceutical company and a bail agents’ group to House Speaker Tim Moore.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she’s closing the inquiry she began last fall without further action. She had asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matters involving Moore, a Cleveland County attorney.

One involved Moore’s legal work for a company called Know Bio. Know Bio had hired Moore in 2017 and paid him $40,000 for four months of work largely related the treatment of startups in federal tax law. Previously, when Moore was the House Rules Committee chairman, he helped get legislation through that had rescued a Durham development project involving the company’s co-founder, Neal Hunter.

Freeman also looked at Moore’s legal work for the North Carolina Bail Agents Association in 2012. The News & Observer of Raleigh had received an anonymous letter that alleged the not-for-profit association had paid $10,000 to win his support for legislation that would prevent a for-profit competitor from offering training.

Freeman’s written statement says the fees that Moore received were for legal services as an attorney.

“This review found no misuse of public office for private gain or other wrongdoing as to these payments, and we therefore are closing the inquiry into this matter without further action,” Freeman wrote.

Moore said in October that his work “as a private attorney and businessman has never conflicted with my public service in the General Assembly.” He had acknowledged being paid $10,000 by the bail agents’ group but said the letter was otherwise full of lies.

Upon hearing of Freeman’s statement Monday, Moore said in a news release that he appreciated “the careful and professional way the district attorney and the SBI handled the anonymous allegations that were made against me.”

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