RALEIGH— Yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger called for a special prosecutor to look into the alleged abuses of power and possible campaign finance law violations of former Democrat Governor Mike Easley. Berger said an independent investigator was needed because of Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper's lack of action on the matter as he contemplates a run for the U.S. Senate.
"The silence from North Carolina's chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Roy Cooper, regarding these serious allegations is deafening," Berger said in a statement. "But we should not be surprised since most of those under scrutiny are Democrats, and he will not risk offending them while seeking their support for a possible U.S. Senate campaign."
He said a special prosecutor would be free from political pressures and conflicts of interest.
A Cooper spokeswoman said by e-mail that the Attorney General's Office won't comment on a current or potential investigation. Noelle Talley, the spokeswoman, did note that Cooper had investigated a number of high-profile Democrats, including Jim Black, Thomas Wright, Meg Scott Phipps and Frank Ballance. ("GOP leader: Give Easley special prosecutor," News & Observer, 5/15/09)
Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:
"I join Senator Berger's call for a special prosecutor to look into the alleged lawbreaking of Mike Easley. If Roy Cooper cannot complete a more thorough investigation of the matter than can be conducted by an enterprising journalist, then he cannot be trusted with the task of leading this investigation. The very fact that his spokeswoman can list fellow Democrats that he has investigated only goes to prove that Democrats in state government are a particularly at-risk population for corrupt behaviors."