MARCH 07, 2008
A veteran North Carolina legislator has been kicked out of office by a special state House Ethics Committee and, if the full House concurs, he could become the first state lawmaker expelled in 128 years.
The Ethics Committee recommended expulsion of eight-term Democrat Thomas Wright this week after determining that the congressman committed financial fraud on a “breathtakingly massive” scale. The bipartisan committee found that Wright committed misconduct in handling about $340,000 in loans and campaign and charitable contributions.
The special panel also found that Wright failed to report nearly $200,000 in campaign contributions, deposited nearly $9,000 of charitable donations into his personal bank account and persuaded a state official to write a bogus letter that helped him get a $150,000 loan.
Wright’s colleagues were outraged that he failed to report 400 campaign contributions between 2000 and 2006, leading one fellow lawmaker to say that that best remedy for allegations of corruption is sunshine and Wright had a “complete shutdown of the blinds” so no one could see what he received and spent.
Like all corrupt politicians, Wright denied the charges and said the expulsion was politically motivated even though his fellow Democrats voted for it. He reminded his peers that he is an elected official and declared, “how dare my colleagues sit in judgment and pass judgment on me.”
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