REPUBLICAN FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEY CONVICTED IN WIFE-HIRING SCHEME: A former prosecutor in North Carolina has been convicted of providing a no-show job for a colleague's wife. News outlets reported a jury convicted former Person and Caswell County District Attorney Wallace Bradsher on Monday of obtaining property by false pretense, assisting in obtaining property by false pretense, felony and misdemeanor obstruction of justice and failure to properly perform his job. Former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer testified he and Bradsher agreed in 2015 to hire each other's wives to get around state ethics rules against prosecutors hiring their own spouses. Bradsher said the case was just administrative failure. Jurors return Tuesday on factors to be considered in Bradsher's sentence.
WAKE COMMISSIONERS MOVE FORWARD WITH CONTROVERSIAL GOLF COURSE PURCHASE: After months of discussion and sometimes fiery debate, Wake County leaders upheld their promise Monday to buy the former Crooked Creek Golf Course for a controversial park in southern Wake County. Commissioners will spend $4 million to purchase the 143 acres from The Conservation Fund. Commissioners John Burns, Matt Calabria, Sig Hutchinson and Erv Portman voted in favor of buying the park, with Commissioners Greg Ford, Jessica Holmes and James West opposed. The decision came after about 10 people spoke in favor of moving forward with the project, while a smaller group questioned the purchase. People wearing green shirts with the words "Park Please" filled the commissioner meeting room Monday afternoon. Critics of the park said the money for the purchase and development would be better spent on public education or affordable housing. Proponents said the park was needed in an area with limited public facilities and access to county parks.
REPUBLICANS GEAR UP TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR COOPER'S VETOES: Republican legislators are moving to try to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's vetoes, this time on legislation limiting candidates for new parties and redrawing judicial districts in North Carolina's two largest counties. The state Senate scheduled votes Tuesday on whether to enact the laws over Cooper's objections announced last Friday. Both the House and Senate must agree to override, and margins in chambers for the bills' initial passage indicate that could happen. One measure changes many judicial election districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The other in part prevents the new Green and Constitution parties from nominating for the fall any losing candidate in primaries for the same office. The Constitution Party nominated candidates over the weekend, some of whom couldn't run if the "sore loser" provision is upheld.
OVER $100 MILLION IN CASH FROM RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS USED TO PURCHASE TRUMP PROPERTIES: Leonid Zeldovich, who has reportedly done extensive business in the Russian-annexed area of Crimea, bought four Trump units outright at a cost of more than $4.35 million, three of them in New York City between 2007 and 2010. And Igor Romashov, who served as chairman of the board of Transoil, a Russian oil transport company subject to U.S. sanctions, paid $620,000 upfront for a unit at a building adorned with the future U.S. president's name in Sunny Isles Beach in 2010. Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.
SUPREME COURT MOVE PUTS NC'S GERRYMANDERING CASE IN FOREFRONT OF NATIONAL BATTLE: Democrats hoped a Wisconsin case would be the vehicle the U.S. Supreme Court would use to strike down highly partisan gerrymandering of electoral maps. When those hopes fizzled Monday, attention turned to North Carolina. A case challenging that battleground state’s congressional districts appears to offer stronger evidence of harm. At issue is whether opponents can identify specific voters who say they have been hurt by gerrymandering — the process of a political party drawing state legislative and congressional maps to maintain or expand their hold on power. The Wisconsin case didn’t do that, but the North Carolina case tries to. It includes a plaintiff from each of the state’s 13 congressional districts. Allison Riggs, an attorney representing the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and other voters who sued, said the state’s congressional map provides “the most crystal clear example of why a rule creating limits on partisan gerrymandering is so necessary.”