Probe under way: Response to complaint due to board by Monday

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Derik Davis’ election campaign has until Monday to respond to the notice of complaint sent to him by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

In a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections last week, Davis’ campaign is accused of violating state election laws. Davis is one of four Republicans seeking a seat on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners this election cycle. On April 13, Republican Gary Brinn, vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners and who is seeking re-election to the board this year, filed a complaint alleging that Derik Davis violated campaign-finance laws. Brinn’s complaint alleges Davis’ campaign did not report expenditures related to paying high school students to distribute campaign literature. Brinn’s complaint contends state law requires political campaigns to report such payments in campaign disclosure reports and identify those receiving such payments.

Davis contends his campaign did nothing wrong.

Initially filed with the Beaufort County Board of Elections, the complaint was forwarded to the State Board of Elections. Sheryll Harris, a compliance specialist with the State Board of Elections, is handling the complaint, including sending the notice of complaint to the Davis campaign,

“I will be happy to speak with you after I review their response,” Harris wrote in an email she sent to the Washington Daily News, which inquired about the complaint.

According to the State Board of Elections, the first-quarter report for the 2016 election cycle was due March 7. That report covers the period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29. The second-quarter report is due July 12. It covers the period from March 1 to June 30. Campaign expenditures made during the first quarter should have been on the report due March 7.

Brinn’s complaint alleges the students worked for the Davis campaign prior to Feb. 29. Davis contends payments to students occurred after Feb. 29 and will be included in the second-quarter report.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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