Lawmaker files campaign disclosures after action from NC Board of Elections

Published: Nov. 25, 2015 at 10:35 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2015 at 11:18 PM EST
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - State Representative John Torbett (R-Gaston) has filed a required campaign financial disclosure on the heels of action from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Earlier this month, the board terminated Torbett's campaign committee, Friends to Elect John Torbett, for his failure to file his mid-year semi-annual disclosure report.

State law requires candidates to file semi-annual reports in non-election years and quarterly reports in years in which they are up for election. Torbett is not up for election in 2015.

Torbett filed his mid-year 2015 report on November 25, 2015, months after it was due and a week after the board terminated his campaign committee.

Documents posted to the board of elections' website show Torbett's campaign committee filed a cover page for his mid-year 2015 report on time but did not provide details of how the lawmaker accepted and spent campaign cash.

According to the posted records, the board of elections sent an email to Torbett's treasurer about the non-compliance in August and followed up by mail with a written notice of non-compliance in September. The letter was returned in early November.

The campaign committee was terminated on November 18, records show.

Documents filed on Wednesday show Torbett accepted one donation from a political action committee, OrthoCarolina, PA Federal PAC, on January 10 totaling $1,000. The committee also lists two contributions from Torbett to the committee totaling $391.85.

The majority of expenditures itemized on the committee's report are related to housing for Torbett in Raleigh.

A total of $5,523.51 was paid by the committee to Clarion Crossing in Raleigh. The purpose is listed as "rent". Torbett was reimbursed for a list of expenses totaling $992.05. The expenses were mostly related to a deposit, insurance and cable for the Raleigh apartment, records filed by the committee show.

In an email to On Your Side Investigates, Torbett said he was unaware that his full mid-year report had not been filed by his campaign treasurer until he received a letter from the board saying his campaign committee had been terminated.

"Once I found out BOE had no data file but just the signed cover page I went to BOE, last Thursday, to see how to fix the issue. They were very courteous and helpful and understood," Torbett said. "I will now make it a point to look at the online info once a month. I had never done that before. I relied on the treasurer to manage it. Maybe too much."

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