Under the Dome

Sewell resigns from transportation board

Louis W. Sewell Jr. a Board of Transportation member and fundraiser for Democratic candidates — including Gov. Mike Easley and gubernatorial nominee Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue — has resigned from the transportation board.

Sewell has come under scrutiny since The News & Observer reported Sunday that Sewell steered about $375,000 in state road money to two projects in Jacksonville near property owned by Sewell or his son, Dan Kane and Ben Niolet report.

The projects went to roads that needed work, but were also adjacent to valuable land.

In a news release, Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett said: "Mr. Sewell has submitted his resignation today. I believe this action is in the best interest of the Board of Transportation, the department, the citizens and Mr. Sewell."

Tippett said last week that he was not aware of the extent of Sewell's real estate interests near the road work. Hours after a reporter explained Sewell's holdings last week, Tippett said he was forwarding the case to the N.C. State Ethics Commission.

In a news release announcing the resignation, Tippett included descriptions of the road work in question. The descriptions included the department's justification for the road work.

More after the jump.


Sewell was appointed to an at-large seat by Easley. As an at-large member, Sewell was to primarily be responsible for representing the interests of rural North Carolina. The at-large seats were created in 1998 as part of reforms enacted after some board members were found to have been steering road work to projects near their property. Board records show that Sewell has focused much of his energy on Jacksonville, where he lives.

A call to Sewell's attorney was not immediately returned.

Sewell has also become an issue in the race for governor. Republican nominee Pat McCrory has attacked Perdue over her ties to Sewell, who had planned to host a fundraiser in his home for Perdue this week. After saying she was unsure whether she would still attend the event, Sewell cancelled the fundraiser.

Sewell is the second board member and Perdue fundraiser to quit the board this year. Former board member Thomas Betts of Rocky Mount resigned in January after he sought to raise $20,000 in campaign money from country singer Randy Parton and the others behind the struggling performing arts theater in Roanoke Rapids. Betts had directed $2.5 million in road work to the theater over the previous year.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: Perdue getting ethically dirtier by the minute

Perdue and her left wing bloggers are just hoping that this will go away as they like the status quo too much, whatever the price. But even the majority of democrats deserve better.

Remember, where there is smoke, there is often fire. If the reporters will follow-up & dig like they should, they will find a lot more corruption that can be directly attributable to Perdue and Easley and not just their cronies who are being scapegoated.

Re: Sewell resigns from transportation board

Where are the left wing blog posters? Why aren't they posting on this entry to Under the Dome? Come on guys, you are being hypocritical by not posting here about how outraged you are at this corruption. Or do you approve of this corruption?

Perdue getting ethically dirtier by the minute

Let's see, among Perdue's major fundraisers are Sewell, Betts and the guys caught up in the ethanol bribery situation (one of them was also a strip club owner that probably gave you over $200). We also have the members of the Ethics Commission contributing to Perdue at the same time that they have acted inappropriately on behalf of Beverly (after her lawyer was allowed to review/change her "ethics" filings in private).

There seems to be a real trend here and it smells big time of corruption by insiders like Beverly. For Beverly to say that she is not a member of the corrupt status quo should be an ethics violation by itself as she is obviously lying.

Beverly, tell us how much campaign money has been raised by and from Sewell, Betts, and the Ethanol guys as well as what you have promised in return for their tainted money! Somehow, everyone around Easley and Perdue are following like dominos. But the real ringleaders appear to be Easley and Perdue and they too ought to leave their current positions disgraced.

Re: Sewell resigns from transportation board

Lyndo Tippett still at large. Film at 11.


Re: Sewell resigns from transportation board

Another one bites the dust! My word North Carolina aren't you tired enough of this mess and the roads, schools, and ethics not being where they should? Time to elect Pat McCrory and then we can have true, real, and meaningful change in Raleigh. It's time to throw the bums out, not promote one from Lt. Governor to Governor.

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of Click here to register or to log in.