Thursday, July 20, 2023

Do You Smell Corruption When Tim Moore Is On the Premises?


Long story, short (with gratitude to Danielle Battaglia, of the NandO):

In 2022, House Speaker Tim Moore induced House Budget Chair Jason Saine to write in a new budgeted position for the courts system in the counties of Cleveland and Lincoln (the home counties of Tim Moore and Jason Saine, respectively), "trial court administrator," a new job which promptly went to a former employee of Moore's Kings Mountain law firm along with a $13,000 bump in salary.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) did not ask for the new position in their budget requests:

Only eight of North Carolina’s judicial districts have trial court administrators and they tend to have a high volume of cases. The others are Wake, Durham, Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth and Cumberland counties and the district that encompasses Granville, Franklin, Person, Warren and Vance counties. 

Cleveland and Lincoln counties’ combined population of 193,765 is smaller than that of the other seven districts that have the position, whose populations range from 236,679 to 1.18 million.

Jason Saine
Tim Moore wouldn't speak to Battaglia about this news, but Jason Saine did speak in a way that might identify him as Moore's useful idiot and as a defense attorney's worst client. In trying to explain how a new high-salaried position got into the budget and how Tim Moore's close personal friend landed the job, Saine more or less defined "political corruption" for all of us:

“The local judges and court people were asking for it [a new trial court admin], and I realize AOC might not have requested it, but (the judges) are close to me and the speaker,” Saine said. “I don’t think it’s a big story; it’s just, yeah, turns out that’s how politics works: the proximity to talk to people who are in politics, and our districts do OK.”

We get it. Access = "doing OK."

Saine couldn't shut up:

“Tim interacts with the courthouse much more than I do,” Saine said, while struggling to explain who specifically requested the position. “It was one of those things that I was like OK, fine. That’s good with me. Whatever. They had a reason to justify it, and that was what it was.”

Asked why Cleveland or Lincoln received the positions while other counties were left without them, Saine responded: “Because I’m the budget writer and he’s the speaker. It goes into the budget for our areas and we’re able to see it through. It’s politics. I think readers would be shocked otherwise."

Not shocked any more by the obvious corruption, and by now only mildly annoyed that this sort of thing comes with zero consequences for any of the manipulators.

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