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Robin Hayes Gives Up Day-To-Day Operations Of State GOP

U.S. Congress and NC GOP Twitter
The North Carolina Republican Party said Wednesday that its chairman Robin Hayes has given up "most of his day-to-day" duties in managing the party

The North Carolina Republican Party said Wednesday that its chairman Robin Hayes has given up "most of his day-to-day" duties in managing the party, a day after an indictment was unsealed that alleges Hayes was part of a scheme to bribe the state's insurance commissioner. 

Hayes appointed Aubrey Woodard as acting chair. The state party will vote on a new chair at its state convention in June. Woodard is the GOP chair of the 11th Congressional District in the most western part of the state.

The news release did not specifically mention Hayes being charged in the case, which the Justice Department said was a "brazen bribery scheme" to influence Mike Causey, a Republican who was elected insurance commissioner in 2016.

[Related Content: NC GOP Chairman, Durham Businessman And Others Indicted On Fraud, Bribery Charges]

Hayes and three businessmen were indicted on March 18.

The federal government alleges that Durham businessman Greg Lindberg, who owns Global Bankers Insurance Group, tried to influence Causey by promising him hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. The indictment said that Lindberg wanted Causey to remove or transfer an official in his office who had oversight over Global Bankers Insurance Group.

Causey went to the FBI in early 2018 and told agents about what he thought were inappropriate requests from Causey.

The indictment said that Lindberg gave $500,000 to the state Republican Party, and that Hayes communicated directly with Causey about Lindberg's request to transfer the official, a senior deputy insurance commissioner.

Hayes was also charged with three counts of lying to the FBI.

"In the best interest of the party, I make this announcement today and will let our respected officers lead on a temporary basis until our regularly planned party elections this June,” Hayes said in a statement.

Hayes and Lindberg, along with the two other businessmen indicted, pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Hayes' attorney, Kearns Davis, said in the news release that he and Hayes "look forward to a swift conclusion to this matter and clearing his name.”

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.