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Democratic Elections Chairman Regrets Quick End To Perdue Investigation

RALEIGH - The chairman of the N.C. State Board of Elections says he regrets his vote last year to end an investigation into the campaign of Gov. Bev Perdue without holding hearings or questioning witnesses under oath. Elections Chairman Larry Leake spoke following the arrest this week of three people close to Perdue on felony charges related to illegal campaign contributions. In August 2010, Leake sided with the board's other Democrats in a party-line vote to end the agency's probe into 42 unreported flights on private aircraft provided to Perdue during her 2008 campaign. The Democratic majority concluded there was no intentional wrongdoing by the governor's staff and issued a $30,000 fine. Republicans criticized the decision as a whitewash and sought the ongoing criminal investigation that triggered the arrests.