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Garrett Perdue leaves Womble

Garrett Perdue, the son of former Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, has left Womble Caryle, the state's largest law firm.

Perdue joined Womble in January 2009, a month after his mother was elected governor. He was recruited into the firm by former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt, to work in economic development.

The hiring raised some eyebrows because of the potential for conflict of interest.

Perdue, an attorney who had previously worked as an associate at Womble, stayed at Womble through his mother's four-year term and during the first four months of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's administration.

He left in April to become managing director of Perdue Global Market Networks Inc.

Bev Perdue, Incorporated

Gov. Bev Perdue got a surprise Christmas present from her son. Garrett Perdue, an economic development attorney, set up a shell of a company called Perdue Global LLC for the outgoing Democrat that may take form in January or beyond. According to the Triangle Business Journal, the corporate entity was registered in late October with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office. “It was a Christmas present,” Garrett told TBJ, “set up in a totally transparent way… to be used by members of my family if they want to explore opportunities.” He added: “I will say that I’m excited about the arrival of a new administration, and excited about the opportunity of being able to get some work done in North Carolina. If you know of anyone with an economic development idea, have them call me.”

Conflict? What conflict?

Say What?
"I think that question is ridiculous."

Asked about the lack of transparancy concerning her son Garrett Perdue's economic development work, Gov. Bev Perdue bristled at a question about whether she might be in violation of her own Executive Order 17, which requires the governor to recuse herself from decisions on incentives packages where her impartiality "might be reasonably questioned due to financial, personal, or familial relationship with a consultant or that consultant's employees or agents."


Hayes says Perdue should explain veto threat

State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes says Gov. Bev Perdue needs to explain her decision to possibly veto a bill that would save the state money in light of her son's job on a law firm's economic development team.

Perdue has hinted strongly that she plans to veto Senate Bill 13, which would scoop up money from state accounts -  including about $8.2 million in economic incentives -  to spend next year.

As the N&O reported Sunday, Perdue's son, Garrett, works on the the economic development team of one of the state's largest law firms, Womble Carlyle. Companies represented by his firm have landed multimillion-dollar incentives packages from the Perdue administration.

“Once again, Governor Perdue has some explaining to do," Hayes said in a statement.

"Senate Bill 13 was put forward by the Republican legislature because it would save millions and empower all North Carolina businesses to grow jobs.  If Governor Perdue vetoes Senate Bill 13, it demonstrates her continued belief she gets to pick economic winners and losers.  Over the past two years, it is clear her son and those politically connected to the Perdue family continue to win at taxpayers’ expense.”

Perdue to become grandmother, again

Gov. Bev Perdue is about to become Grandma Perdue, again.

Perdue left her office at the state Capitol in a hurry this morning to get to a Raleigh hospital, J. Andrew Curliss reports.

Perdue's son, Garrett, and wife, April, are expecting their second child to arrive today.

This will be Perdue's sixth grandchild.

Dome Memo: Holiday wish list

ANYTHING WILL DO: Gov. Bev Perdue had to amend her campaign finance reports because of more undisclosed flights, a fact Republicans compared to the transgressions of embattled former Gov. Mike Easley. Later in the week, Perdue had a spokeswoman explain that Perdue stayed completely out of recruiting a business that was represented by her son. And her approval rating dipped back into the 20s. Perdue may want to add "good news" to her Christmas list.

JUST WHAT WE WANTED: Campaigns for Congress got livelier this week when Renee Ellmers, a registered nurse and political newcomer, entered the Republican primary to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge of Lillington. Bernie Reeves, a Raleigh publisher known for his brash conservative commentary, is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat. Other candidates in other races lined up key consultants. Dome may get what we want for Christmas: lively political campaigns.

THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING: A trust with apparent ties to former presidential candidate John Edwards purchased a Charlotte-area house, which set off speculation and reports that Edwards was trying to find a home for Rielle Hunter. Meanwhile, Edwards tops the list of disappointing public figures in a new poll. If anyone is looking for last-minute gift ideas for Edwards, he does not want any copies of former aide Andrew Young's tell-all book. Maybe just a gift card.

IN OTHER NEWS: U.S. Rep. David Price worries about the growing federal deficit. Easley has hired famed criminal defense attorney Joeseph B. Cheshire V. The battle continues over whether the state has to free a group of inmates serving life sentences.

Perdue stepped back because of son

Gov. Bev Perdue sat out the recruitment of a Louisiana company to the Research Triangle because her son was involved in efforts to get the company to move its headquarters here.

As a result, Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco made all the decisions in the recruitment of IEM, a risk management firm, including the promise of as much as $9 million in tax incentives and grants, according to Chrissy Pearson, the governor's spokeswoman.

The governor recused herself because her son, Garrett Perdue, was involved in recruiting IEM as part of his job with the law firm of Womble Carlyle, Rob Christensen reports.

"Because Garrett represented the company in some way," Pearson said, "the governor recused herself early on in the process. What that means is Commerce just carried the lion's share of the recruiting, which is what they do anyway. But the governor can be good motivating or icing on the cake."

Perdue son has court date

Gov. Beverly Perdue's son Garrett Perdue has a court date next month on a charge of speeding in a school zone and driving with a revoked license.

Laura Leslie, your barkeep over at Isaac Hunter's Tavern, has the full story.

The quick take: Perdue got pulled over for expired tags in 2008. There was a "miscommunication" about how much he owed, so when Perdue's family moved, Mecklenburg notices that he still owed money were not finding their way to his address. The court revoked his license.

Then, earlier this year, Perdue was pulled over for driving 42 in a 35, which he didn't realize was an active school zone. Perdue got a ticket for speeding in a school zone, and the officer informed him that his license was suspended.

Perdue says he paid his court costs and is "in the process of completing 20 hours of community service." He has been allowed to keep his license while he completes the community service.

Perdue: I trust Garrett not to lobby

Garrett PerdueGov. Beverly Perdue said she trusts her son.

Asked about Garrett Perdue's recent attendance at the "Rush the Growler" event in Raleigh, the governor said she does not think he is lobbying, according to a story on WRAL:

"I'm not aware of the specific events, but Garrett assures me he's not lobbying in Raleigh, and I take his word for it," she said in a statement.

Garrett Perdue declined to comment, but Womble Carlyle spokesman Russell Thomas said he wasn't lobbying and attended the event solely because he knew others there.

"Garrett attended a social event – nothing more, nothing less," Thomas said.

State Rep. Leo Daughtry, a Johnston County Republican, told the station that Garrett Perdue's attendance was not "good judgment." 

Another Garrett sighting at state event

Garrett PerdueGarrett Perdue has been spotted again. 

The son of Gov. Beverly Perdue was seen Wednesday at the 19th annual "Rush the Growler" party sponsored by the N.C. Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association.

The event is well attended by legislators, former legislators, staffers and lobbyists at the association's headquarters on Person Street behind the Governor's mansion.

What is "Rush the Growler"? During Prohibition, the "growler" was the jug or pail where they put the moonshine. When the person carrying the growler showed up at the party, it was rushed by the crowd.

Garrett Perdue is a lobbyist with Womble Carlyle, the state's largest law firm. Although he's been seen at the legislature and the N.C. Chamber's annual meeting, he and his firm have said he does not engage in state lobbying.

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