RALEIGH – While, fortunately, the N.C. Republican Party has been able to move on and start anew with refreshed leadership after years of malaise ending in scandal, the trouble is just now starting it seems for former NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes. He’s set to plead guilty to federal corruption charges, court records show.
“[…] Hayes was indicted by a federal grand jury in March on allegations he facilitated a scheme in which a billionaire businessman is alleged to have tried to bribe North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.
Hayes was charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and aiding and abetting along with three counts of making false statements to the FBI.
Federal prosecutors allege Hayes helped businessman Greg Lindberg steer a roughly quarter million dollar political contribution through the NCGOP to Causey.
Causey was cooperating with the FBI, unbeknownst to Hayes, Lindberg and two associates of Lindberg who were also indicted in the matter. […]”
Hayes, heir to a textiles fortune earned by his great grandfather J.W. Cannon (Cannon Mills), also served in the state legislature; ran for governor; and, was elected to congress before first being elected chairman of the NCGOP.
The resume will now be stamped with a guilty plea to federal bribery charges.
Gregg Lindberg, however, plans on fighting the charges and has asked the judge to throw his charges out. Perhaps we should expect as much from an ultra-rich businessman audacious enough to brazenly bribe state political leaders to enrich himself further.
The entire episode obviously brought a lot of shame to the NCGOP, but, on the plus side, at least Republicans will head into 2020 with new party leadership and the malaise and corruption of the Hayes era hopefully behind them.
Read more about court case against Hayes here.