The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


October 21, 2011

Burr responds to complaints regarding contributions, expenses

Friday, October 21, 2011 — After receiving two complaints from a Raleigh native regarding campaign finance reports, the State Board of Elections is working with Justin Burr to amend the reports, according to Sheryll Allen Harris, with the Cam-paign Finance Department.

“Mr. Burr has been working to amend the reports and we are continuing to work with him, though we still have a ways to go,” Harris said.

In August, Greg Flynn, an architect in Raleigh, filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections office regarding what he explains as violations of the state’s General Statutes, specifically involving contributions.

In his complaint, addressed to Executive Director Gary Bartlett, Flynn explains that “Since the [Justin Burr for NC House] committee returned to active status in December 2007 there appear to be 66 contributions totaling $15,225.00 that have been reported incorrectly.”

According to Flynn, the contributions were improperly reported in the name of two individuals while only one address, occupation and employer field was reported for each contribution.

“I have talked with the state [Board of Elections] office. I guess it was me trying to put too much information in the reports,” N.C. House Rep. Justin Burr said.

Harris and Burr explained that he has been working to amend these reports so that they accurately reflect the number of people who made contributions.

Within two weeks of filing the initial complaint, Flynn filed a second one, explaining that he believed one of Burr’s reported expenditures was in violation of the General Statutes, specifically G.S. 163-278.16B(a)(2), which states that “A candidate or candidate campaign committee may use contributions for … expenditures resulting from public office.”

The specific expenditure Flynn filed the complaint about is the $857.46 purchase of suits/jackets from Brooks Brothers in Raleigh on March 27. In the report, Burr lists the purchase as being required for session.

Flynn explains in his complaint that the state’s advisory opinion on determining if an expenditure meets the General Statute requirement is by asking if the candidate or committee would make the expenditure if they were not holding office. If the answer is “no,” then the expenditure would be permissible.

“It stretches the imagination to believe that Mr. Burr would not have purchased suits or jackets if not holding public office,” Flynn said in his complaint.

Flynn also explained that he believed three other expenditures, in which Burr purchased office furniture, were also in violation of the General Statutes. He explained he did not believe these purchases were necessary since the legislative offices are already furnished.

Burr explained that he did not believe there was any validity to Flynn’s complaints.

“There’s nothing to it. I would rather me purchase these things instead of the taxpayers,” Burr said.

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