AP NEWS

The Latest: Commissioner: I acted as investigators directed

April 2, 2019
FILE - In this June 3, 2017 file photo North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes speaks during the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C. Hayes won't seek re-election to the post after all, the former congressman announced Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on charges filed against the North Carolina Republican Party chairman and a big-time donor (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

The North Carolina elected official who helped a criminal probe that led to charges against the state Republican Party chairman and a big-time donor says he acted at the direction of federal investigators.

Republican state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey talked to The Associated Press on Tuesday, shortly after a federal grand jury’s indictment against four people was made public.

The indictment describes Causey as being involved in conversations and meetings with investment firm founder Greg Lindberg, Lindberg’s associates and state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes. Prosecutors said they promised Causey campaign dollars in exchange for things Lindberg wanted.

Causey wasn’t charged. He says he’s not the target of any investigation. He says he had contacted federal investigators because his agency was having issues with Lindberg’s insurance-related firms.

Causey previously returned a donation from Lindberg. Causey took other donations from the state GOP, which had connections to Lindberg, and gave them to the federal government.

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12:25 p.m.

The chairman of North Carolina’s Republican Party and a secretive big-money donor are facing federal bribery and wire fraud charges. They’re accused of trying to sway an insurance regulator’s decisions in favor of the donor’s insurance companies.

State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and investment firm founder Greg Lindberg are among four people charged in federal indictments unsealed Tuesday.

Hayes and a Lindberg spokesman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Federal prosecutors said Hayes, Lindberg and two Lindberg associates promised or gave Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey millions of campaign dollars to do things Lindberg wanted, such as seeking the removal of a deputy insurance commissioner responsible for examining Lindberg’s Durham-based business.

Lindberg has given more than $5 million to North Carolina candidates, party committees and independent expenditure groups.