Under the Dome

Democrats call for ethics probes of Tillis' office scandal

The state legislative Democratic caucus today sent letters to the N.C. Ethics Commission and the Legislative Ethics Committee asking for a review of the scandal in House Speaker Thom Tillis’ office.

Tillis in the past week accepted resignations from his chief of staff and from a policy adviser after they admitted having had affairs with lobbyists.

The letters ask for a review of former chief of staff Charles Thomas’ romantic relationship with Jessica Hayes, who was a lobbyist for the N.C. Home Builders Association until she was forced to resign last week.

Democrats are also asking a review of comments Thomas made to The News & Observer that lobbyists and legislative staffers take turns paying for meals or drinks. State law forbids lawmakers or their staffs from accepting anything of value from lobbyists.

The Democrats are also requesting a review of whether new legislation is needed to plug gaps in the current law, which does not address romantic relationships between lobbyists and legislators or their staffs.

Earlier this week a second staff member, Amy Hobbs, acknowledged having an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist for several interest groups, Dean Plunkett.

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