Tim Moore Wanted an Academic Robe
It got leaked in October 2019 that Tim Moore wanted to "retire" from the General Assembly and be president of the UNC system. That rumor actually sparked a UNC student protest demonstration and just incidentally, plenty of coolness from members of the UNC board of governors who were wary about that kind of pressure. In the end, too many important people didn't see Tim Moore in the top dog mortarboard and cape, and that air ship went down.
Then, only a few months later, in Feb. 2020, it had become an open secret that Tim Moore was angling now to get appointed chancellor of East Carolina University. The job was open. It was lesser than being president of the entire system, but maybe he was feeling bargain-basement. Another Republican, Robert Moore, the East Carolina University Board of Trustees member censured as part of an SGA election scandal in February 2020, was the one who outed Moore's pressure campaign, in a defiant and get-even resignation letter.
So Moore's second try for a cushy retirement plan deflated as quickly as the first one.
If He Can't Have the Regalia, He Wants It for His Friend
By the spring of 2022, a couple of years after Moore's last feint toward becoming university royalty, Moore became hellbent on getting his former chief of staff Clayton Somers in as chancellor of UNC-W. Clayton Somers had been Moore's inside man at UNC, his messenger boy and his fixer, but a new university president, Kevin Guskiewicz, had begun ignoring Somers and showing a dangerous independent streak:
"Kevin wouldn't just accept what Clayton said unquestioningly," one senior university official said. "Clayton didn't like being questioned .... That got their relationship off to a rocky start and it never recovered."
|Clayton Somers' side-eye. Photo Cornell Watson|
Bottomline: Fair-haired boy Clayton Somers had become a walking, talking sorehead who was on the outs with university administration, plus he was never going to be chancellor of anything. He didn't make it past the second round interview and wasn't on the short list of finalists. Another man got the job, so once again Tim Moore had custard creme on his face.
He took it out on Holly Grange.
Who Is Holly Grange and What Did Tim Moore Do To Her?
Grange's consolation prize, more or less -- she got appointed to the UNC-Wilmington board of trustees, and as a board member she was also selected to serve on the chancellor search committee. She didn't like what Tim Moore was doing to force his guy on the search committee. Some -- several -- members involved confirmed to The Assembly that Speaker Moore waved his dick around, but it didn't impress anyone. So Clayton Somers failed, and Tim Moore failed, and Holly Grange did it!
So about a year into her service on the board of trustees and in October 2022, very soon after Clayton Somers did not become chancellor of UNC-W, Holly Grange received a mysterious heads-up in a text message, that she should look at a bill that was just filed in the House. It declared her trustees seat "vacant." What? She was in the seat, a voting member. But a new law declared she didn't exist. It was a way to fire someone without firing them. Senior admin people at UNC-W couldn't believe it either, but just like that, Tim Moore had Holly Grange dumped out of her seat. Grange herself summed up the action: “I was removed simply because the Speaker of the House could not secure the chancellor’s position for his chosen person.”