RALEIGH, N.C. (AP & WNCN) – House Republicans have opened the door for the chamber to investigate North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall based on a lawmaker’s allegations she issued notary public commissions to people who live in the U.S. illegally.
A House committee voted along party lines Wednesday to allow the full body to consider a resolution to create a special panel for investigating Marshall, a Democrat first elected in 1996.
The probe request came from GOP Rep. Chris Millis, who months ago received records from Marshall’s office that led him to believe more than 300 commissions were issued to people with no legal residency status. In March, Millis called on Marshall to resign.
“So, this is not a matter of politics in the least bit. I’ve been very clear in outlining such. This is a matter, truly, of the aspects of following the law,” Millis told CBS North Carolina.
Marshall’s office says commissions have been granted lawfully.
The resolution says the investigative panel could propose impeachment articles against Marshall.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon Marshall called this a “political attack.”
“Every single non-citizen we have commissioned as a notary public has presented appropriate federally-issued work authorization documentation to qualify as a notary,” she said.
She also referred to a 1984 Supreme Court decision, Bernal v. Fainter, that found a person is qualified for a commission as a notary public as long as that person resides legally in the United States. That person may not necessarily be a U.S. citizen, Marshall pointed out in a letter to House Speaker Tim Moore (R) on April 10.
“And, they’re impeaching her for complying with the law because they don’t like that the law is gonna benefit undocumented immigrants who are here with a legal work permit,” said Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Durham/Orange).
The full House of Representatives could take up this issue later this week.