House Speaker Moore has hired criminal defense attorney for state, federal probes

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) speaks with WBTV in his office.
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) speaks with WBTV in his office.
Updated: Nov. 26, 2018 at 8:35 PM EST
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) – North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has hired a high-profile criminal defense attorney as he prepares to handle separate requests from state and federal investigators.

In an interview Monday night, Moore confirmed to WBTV that he had retained attorney Colon Willoughby, who spent nearly three decades as Wake County District Attorney.

Moore said he retained Willoughby to review questions that have emerged about work he has handled in his private law practice that may have related to legislation with which he is involved.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported in September about a contract Moore had with a Triangle-based pharmaceutical start-up that prompted current Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman to request the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to review.

Freeman has clarified that she did not request an investigation but did request agents review Moore’s business arrangement and connections, if any, to his legislative work.

“I hired Mr. Willoughby to look into this and what he’s done is actually confirm that I’m not the subject of an investigation,” Moore said.

Moore did not elaborate on the nature of the work Willoughby had done on his behalf.

Separately, WBTV has also learned Moore has retained Willoughby to handle potential inquiries from federal investigators who continue to build a case stemming from political donor Greg Lindberg.

Previous: NCGOP took nearly $2 million from donor under FBI investigation, gave some to Causey campaign

Lindberg has donated millions of dollars to both Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina in recent years, including a $250,000 donation that he made to the North Carolina Republican Party that was later deposited into the campaign account of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.

When asked Monday night, Moore said he had not received any subpoenas from federal investigators.

“I’ve heard nothing about that at all,” Moore said. “As far as I know, I’m not involved in any of that.”

But sources familiar with the investigation and other with knowledge of his legal arrangements say he is preparing for requests from federal investigators.

No charges have been filed as a result of the federal probe related to Lindberg.

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