House Oversight Committee Furthers Investigation Into Potential SBI Interference | Eastern North Carolina Now

Invites Key Members of Gov. Cooper’s Staff to Testify

ENCNow
Press Release:

    Raleigh, NC     The House Oversight and Reform Committee invited key members of Governor Roy Cooper's staff and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) general counsel to testify before the committee Tuesday, April 18.

    The hearing will further investigate allegations made in a hearing last month by SBI director Bob Schurmeier of the governor's staff attempts to intimidate and control the independent law-enforcement agency.

    Schurmeier testified that Cooper's Chief of Staff Kristi Jones and General Counsel Eric Fletcher interfered with his hiring authority and attempted to intimidate him into resigning, threatening him and the agency with an outside investigation. He also questioned the loyalty of SBI General Counsel Angel Gray.

    Jones responded to these allegations on behalf of the governor's office in a letter to committee co-chairs Rep. Jake Johnson (R-Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford) and Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan) acknowledging the threat of investigation and confirming at least one meeting Schurmeier described.

    The committee chairs emphasized the need for transparency.

    "Political interference compromises the credibility of the state's top law enforcement agency," Rep. Johnson said. "We look forward to hearing from the governor's staff and others to bring light to the allegations of overreach."

    Rep. Warren said, "It is important to hear from all parties when allegations of this nature are made. Independence is integral to the work of the SBI, and the committee has a responsibility to examine testimony from all sides. On this, we have bipartisan agreement."


   Contact: Jimmy Milstead
   Email: Jimmy.Milstead@ncleg.net


   Contact: Mary Moorefield
   Email: mary.moorefield@ncleg.gov
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