RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - State Senator Fletcher Hartsell (R-Cabarrus) was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on charges he violated campaign finance laws.
Hartsell, the longest serving members of the North Carolina Senate, has been under investigation by state and federal law enforcement following a recommendation by the North Carolina State Board of Elections last July.
The NCSBE began looking into Hartsell's campaign spending following an investigation by the Raleigh News & Observer that found the senator used campaign money to pay for seemingly non-campaign personal expenses.
Tuesday's indictment came from a grand jury in Wake County. Hartsell faces three felony charges of filing a false campaign finance report.
"The required remarks as to the purpose of the disbursements contained false and misleading information and did not disclose the true purpose for these impermissible expenditures, and the public thereby had no means of knowing that the Committee funds had been utilized for purposes not authorized by law," the indictment reads.
Hartsell has maintained he did not violate the law, even as he withdrew his candidacy for re-election this spring.
An attorney for Hartsell, Wade Smith, did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to the indictment on Tuesday but did speak with the News & Observer.
"I know for so many people it is a sad day because Fletcher Hartsell has been indicted," Smith said. "He has been so often a voice of moderation and reason. He has reached out to people on both sides of the aisle to seek compromise yet at the same time he has been a courageous advocate for the things in which he believed such as local welfare reform, public health legislation, public schools and higher education issues."