Tim Moore’s self-dealing with Duke is just the latest example of his wheelin’ and dealin’
Moore has a history of padding his wallet by blurring the lines between his professional and public work.
Yesterday WRAL reported that NC House Speaker Tim Moore is currently serving as the lead attorney in a negligence case against Duke Energy. Meanwhile Duke’s lobbyists are working hard to pass S559, a bill that could make major changes to the way North Carolina sets electricity rates to benefit the company.
Despite Moore’s claims that no improper dealing has occurred over the settlement or the legislation the case certainly gives the appearance of an ethics violation. This is not the first time Moore’s work as an attorney and work as a lawmaker have blurred ethics lines.
Moore used his legislative prowess to rescue a controversial Durham development and later received $30,000 in campaign cash and a lucrative legal contact investigated by the SBI.
Moore intervened on behalf of J. Alex Mitchell, current UNC BOG member and real estate developer, pushing legislation to force the City of Durham to provide water and sewer services to 751 South, a luxury community Mitchell was struggling to get off the ground. Moore used typical legislative sleight-of-hand to introduce the change as an unrelated amendment and later received more than $30,000 in campaign cash from Mitchell and his wife.
Two years after Moore rescued 751 South the other developer for the project gave him a lucrative legal services contract for KnowBIO, a pharmaceutical company he recently founded. The company’s former CEO terminated Moore’s contract, but hired a former top Moore aide as part of a team of three lobbyists. Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman asked the SBI to investigate Moore’s contract with KnowBIO. KnowBIO also has ties to former UNC BOG Chair Harry Smith, who served on its board at the time Moore was hired.
Moore used his position in the legislature to turn significant personal profit on a land deal.
Tim Moore’s company, Southeast Land Holdings, bought a chicken plant in Siler City out of bankruptcy for $85,000. Two years after the plant laid off more than 1,000 people and closed, Southeast sold it to another company in 2016 for $550,000, a significant profit. A watchdog group filed an ethics complaint alleging Moore used his powerful position in the legislature to save money on the land deal, avoiding certain regulations and fees. A separate ethics complaint found that a senior aide to Moore reached out to DEQ employees in his official capacity about department actions that impacted Moore’s private land deal.
Meanwhile, the company Moore sold the chicken plant to, “Jesus-centered” Mountaire Farms, planned to evict hundreds of nearby residents of a mobile home park, forcing most into homelessness. Mountaire farms received millions in taxpayer-funded incentives.
Moore did legal work on behalf the NC Bail Agents Association and then pushed a law to benefit the group. The law was later thrown out in court.
Last year, Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman announced she was investigating Moore over work he did in 2012 for a bail bonds group. Moore did legal work on behalf a group of bail agents, the NC Bail Agents Association, in early 2012. Months later legislation passed that gave the same group the sole right to conduct training classes for bail bonds professionals in the state. Later, a company sued over the change and the law was thrown out.
The ties between Moore and the shadier corners of the bail bonds industry extend to his college roommate, Mark Bibbs. Bibbs is under investigation by the SBI for violating lobbying laws for work on behalf of another bail bonds group.