Tuesday, October 31, 2023

"To Undo What We’ve Done.” Tim Moore Mis-appoints a Crony


Isn't cronyism inherently corrupt? I feel obliged to at least try to keep up with the new scandals that continuously sprout wherever House Speaker Tim Moore treads. His plans for Congress are well known, though he continues to play bashful about actually running for the newly drawn 14th CD that includes his home in Gaston County. Everyone even partially warm to the touch knows he's lusted for a seat in Congress, which he's now describing as only one of his many options. "Had we but world enough and time, this coyness, Timmy, were no crime." 

Kenneth Robert "Rob" Davis

According to Speaker Moore's fellow NCGA member Sen. Danny Britt (Lumberton), Speaker Moore hisownself put a name on a five-page list of appointments to important state government jobs, in particular an old college buddy and long-time friend Kenneth Robert Davis (goes by "Rob"), appointed to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the State Bar. All those appointments got voted on last week. Reporter Bryan Anderson discovered that the Disciplinary Hearing Commission (just this last May) found that as a lawyer Rob Davis had "failed to maintain accurate identification of all funds in his trust account, had mismanaged client funds, and fell behind on filing and paying several years of state and federal income taxes."

Sen. Danny Britt fingered Tim Moore as behind the appointment, because the appointment itself has become toxic enough already that fellow Republican Britt --also closely connected to Rob Davis in local politics; Davis is a county attorney for Robeson -- needed someone to blame not named Danny Britt. Britt's conversation with reporter Anderson included this:
Britt said Davis’s appointment came directly from Speaker Moore, and that Davis hadn’t requested it.

“He had not requested to be placed on this committee,” Britt said. “It kind of came out of the blue to him. He didn’t request to serve on it, but he appreciates being asked to serve on the committee. … I did not know he was nominated until I saw it in the appointment bill language. I know for a fact it was Tim Moore’s decision to put him on there and nobody else’s.”

For his part, Moore ain't talking (at least not to Anderson), though he did issue a statement last Wednesday that "he’d revisit the appointment" (whatever that means ... sounds juicy!). In the meantime the legal community and others involved in civic government are gaping at the appointment of a metaphorical jailbird to the new role as jailer (as political scientist Chris Cooper put it). Even though he was willing to finger Moore as culprit, Britt wants to peddle the narrative that Davis's transgressions were just "a minor bookkeeping thing."

Sen. Danny Britt

Rob Davis was a Republican member of the Bladen County Board of Elections during the great ballot harvesting scandal of 2018 to benefit the Rev. Mark Harris's campaign for Congress in CD9. After the State Board of Elections conducted its investigation of McCrae Dowless and his activities, the SBOE vacated all the sitting members on county BOEs involved in the Dowless multi-county shenanigans, just for a clean slate, apparently, and not because everyone was guilty of something. NCGOP Chair (at the time), Robin Hayes, appealed to the SBOE to keep Davis on the board but was denied. Asked very recently by reporter Anderson, Hayes now sez he has no memory of Davis. “The name doesn’t even ring a bell.” Ouch.

Lawmakers won't be back in Raleigh until November 29. In the meantime, Davis's appointment to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission is officially the law. Anderson reports that Davis himself is quite aware of the embarrassment and is seeking legal advice on how best to handle it, or simply not take the job. "Yeah! That's the ticket,"sez Britt, who actually did say out loud that Davis could "just choose to not participate in any commission activities":

“If he doesn’t get seated, doesn’t go to any meetings, doesn’t participate, then he’s a nonparticipating member and that’s really no issue,” Britt said. “I don’t think there’s anything we can do between now and [November 29] to undo what we’ve done.”

How to deal with the wounds cut by corrupt politicians: If a public servant doesn't do his job, that's a solution for a corrupt appointment!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Fox, meet henhouse."