Andrew Whalen, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Democratic Party has released a statement. It's easiest simply to reprint it.
Today, in a unanimous vote, the State Board of Elections fully exonerated the North Carolina Democratic Party of any violations of election law.
Evidence presented during the hearing indicated that the Easley Committee solicited contributions for the Party from two donors, indicating to the donors that those contributions would be used on behalf of the Easley Committee.
It was undisputed that the Party did not participate in the solicitations and had no knowledge of the manner in which the solicitations were made. The SBOE did order the Party to disgorge $9,000 representing the two contributions.
The North Carolina Democratic Party cooperated fully with the investigation, providing numerous documents and testimony, and is pleased that the Board carefully examined the evidence and chose to dismiss the complaint filed against the Party
Bob Hall from Democracy North Carolina contacted the mainstream media to ask them to correct any statements that say the State Board of Elections found no fault with the North Carolina Democratic Party. I will quote the quote I found on The Charlotte Observer. Hall didn't contact me, but I want to make sure this correction can be found on the same page where the claim is found. According to Hall:
I don’t think it’s right to say the State Board of Elections cleared the Democratic Party of all wrongdoing. The unanimous vote to order the Party to forfeit $9,000 resulted from concluding that there was sufficient evidence to show that donations had been solicited for Easley’s benefit, made payable to the Party, and used to pay expenses for the Easley campaign – i.e., that the donor, Easley Committee, and Democratic Party were all involved in a type of earmarking that violates NCGS 163-278.14(a): “No individual, political committee, or other entity shall make any contribution anonymously or in the name of another. No candidate, political committee, referendum committee, political party, or treasurer shall knowingly accept any contribution made by any individual or person in the name of another individual or person or made anonymously.”
The statute of limitations has expired on misdemeanor charges, but not on a civil penalty. The Board decided that it had evidence regarding the donations from Lanny Wilson and Nick Garrett, but testimony did not support charges involving other donations. The penalty could not have been assessed unless there was evidence the Party participated in the earmarking scheme for the Wilson and Garrett donations. I’m not asking you to write more about all this, except that in your Correction section, I think it would be good to say that beyond two cases of illegal earmarking involving the Wilson and Garrett donations, the Party was cleared of any further wrongdoing. That way, the clarification will appear when somebody retrieves the original story some months from now. What do you say?