Contract for McCrory campaign donor scrutinized

RALEIGH, NC (AP & WNCN) — Two Cabinet-level officials in Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration say the governor never directed them to extend or expand prison maintenance contracts held by a company owned by a McCrory donor and friend.

Department of Public Safety Frank Perry and State Budget Director Lee Roberts gave the response to a question Wednesday while appearing before a General Assembly committee.

Roberts told the panel how he evaluated at McCrory’s request whether it was cost effective to keep private maintenance at three prisons.

The administration extended contracts for Graeme Keith Sr.’s company for another year. Now they’re set to expire again.

Perry described Keith as saying, “He had along the way made his contributions, and it was time for him to get something in return.”

The secretary said he had heard a similar comment on four different occasions.

State legislators asked Perry about what he did after hearing that.

Rep. Larry Hall (D-Durham) asked, “Did you take any action the second time to report this to any authorities?”

Perry responded, “It was inappropriate. It was uncomfortable to hear it, but there has been no quid pro quo, therefore no crime.”

The FBI is investigating the case, according to the News & Observer. Perry, who is the former head of the FBI’s Raleigh/Durham office declined to confirm whether the investigation was underway.

Keith has stood by the selection of his company, saying it was chosen based on the quality of the service it provides not because of campaign donations.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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