Hendersonville Republican Tom Apodaca is taking the lead role into an investigation in the state Senate of letters from Gov. Bev Perdue that appear to be a falsified effort to steer money to state road projects that a top state highway official had said were not ready for funding.
The News&Observer of Raleigh has reported on the growing scandal this week. Two Perdue staffers wrote a letter over the signature of Jim Trogdon, the state DOT’s chief operating officer, contradicting Trogdon’s earlier statement that the projects would not be ready in the 2012-13 budget year.
Apodaca, the Senate Rules Committee chairman, has called for state DOT officials to appear before his committee Wednesday and the Perdue staffers to appear on Thursday. The letters were used during floor debate in the Senate to try to win support for the projects, a seven-mile toll bridge across Currituck Sound and the Garden Parkway between Gastonia and Charlotte.
“Those simple facts in my mind warrant this committee’s inquiry into the integrity of information provided to the Senate as it goes about its business,” Apodaca told the N&O. “This is simply an inquiry. We will go where the facts lead us.”