Wheeler files ethics complaint against Hise

SPRUCE PINE – The Democratic challenger in the race for the North Carolina District 47 state Senate seat has filed an official ethics complaint against his Republican opponent.

David Wheeler, of Spruce Pine, filed an official complaint Tuesday, Aug. 14, with the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement against incumbent Sen. Ralph Hise, of Spruce Pine. 

Wheeler received an email confirmation of the filing from North Carolina Ethics Commission Deputy General Counsel David Smyth, which was forwarded to the News-Journal. 

Wheeler alleges in the complaint that from Jan. 2011 to present Hise has either filed false claims for hourly pay at Mayland Community College, his employer, or filed false claims for days he has been in Raleigh serving in the state Senate.

“Through a public records request I received copies of his pay records from MCC and a copy of his per diem subsistence payments by the NC Senate,” Wheeler wrote in the complaint. “From my review of the records, Mr. Hise is claiming both pay and benefits for days he is not working.”

Wheeler cites Feb. 2018 as a specific example, alleging in the complaint Hise was paid by Mayland for 12 days and the Senate for 22 days.

“There are only 20 working days and a total of 28 days in February,” Wheeler wrote. “He is receiving pay for 34 days, and this is not an isolated incident.”

Wheeler said he reviewed Hise’s pay from Jan. 2011 to March 2018, his entire time in the state Senate, and found each year had 251 working days. The complaint then alleges Hise received 329 days of pay from Mayland and daily Senate subsistence requests in 2011; 305 days in 2012; 316 days in 2013; 313 days in 2014; 343 days in 2015; 313 days in 2016; and 330 days in 2017. 

“Hise is also accruing vacation and sick leave regardless of the number of hours he works at MCC,” Wheeler alleges. “For example, in August 2014 Hise worked a total of 40 hours for MCC and still accrued 11.33 hours of vacation leave and eight hours of sick leave. The following month, Hise worked 120 hours and received the same vacation and sick leave hours. He then takes these days off and claims these sick and vacation hours for pay.”

Wheeler submitted all Hise’s pay summaries received from Mayland and the North Carolina General Assembly with the complaint. 

Hise said Wheeler’s complaint is merely a distraction. 

“My opponent is doing everything he can to distract voters from his extreme liberal views,” Hise said. “Like his campaign, this complaint is desperate, omits important information and is without merit.”

The MItchell News

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