It’s somehow fitting that a legislative session that included an intra-party fight over casinos, draconian restrictions on women’s access to health care, and a lawmaker defying the will of her voters and switching parties would end this way, with a childish act of petty vengeance by the state’s second most powerful legislator.
Welcome to the rotten world of North Carolina politics.
As the session drew to a close, this week Wake County Representative Terence Everitt was unexpectedly evicted from his office and exiled to a janitorial closet while he waited to vote on the state budget.
His cardinal sin? Asking Wake County’s district attorney to investigate House Speaker Tim Moore for possible violations of state laws related to an extramarital affair.
In June, Wake County resident Scott Lassiter sued Speaker Moore for alienation of affection. The lawsuit alleged that the infamously randy Speaker Moore had engaged in an extramarital affair with Lassiter’s wife which ultimately led to the end of their marriage.
Lassiter also claimed his wife had told him that others had had group sex with Moore in pursuit of political favors from the powerful Cleveland County lawmaker.
According to the suit, Mr. Lassiter and Speaker Moore met at a Biscuitville to discuss the matter four days later.
At the Biscuitville Summit, Moore allegedly admitted the affair and asked Lassiter if there was anything [Moore] could do for Lassiter, “implying that he could use the power he held as Speaker in some way to benefit Plaintiff.”
Moore acknowledged meeting Lassiter at Biscuitville to discuss the matter and says the two men “hugged it out.”
Last month Representative Everitt sent a letter to Wake County District Attorney Lorin Freeman pointing out that Jamie Lassiter had received salary raises of more than 50% in her state job while she was having the affair with Moore, increases which far exceeded the average raises received by state employees who didn’t have affairs with Moore.
Everitt’s letter noted Moore’s alleged use of the people’s money for personal sexual gratification and asked Freeman to investigate for possible criminal violations including bribery, embezzlement, and misconduct in public office.
Freeman declined to open an investigation, but Biscuitville Moore had to have the last laugh.
So while Everitt waited in the House chamber to vote on a terrible budget guaranteed passage by the General Assembly’s stolen supermajority, his belongings were boxed and moved to a janitorial supply closet in the basement of the legislature. For added inconvenience, his legislative assistant’s office was kept on a separate floor.
Moore then sent Everitt this taunting letter explaining the change:
Moore’s letter uses a disagreement Everitt had with a fellow Democrat as pretext for the punitive office move. It’s a missive that sounds as if it were written by an unusually articulate junior high bully, filled with not-so-subtle references to what Moore appears to perceive as Everitt’s lack of manliness.
While Moore’s lack of professionalism and basic maturity might surprise outsiders, few North Caroliians would expect anything else from the House Speaker.
We know exactly who he is.