They should ironically name Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina the “Ethics Coast” — like the Space Coast but for launching massive corruption into the highest levels of state government:
In the months after receiving his $171,071 payout of stock from Tree.com, [N.C. Gov. Pat] McCrory appointed the state’s banking director and a majority of the banking commissioners who regulate mortgage brokers.
That Jan. 30, the board voted to accelerate the vesting of McCrory’s 10,063 restricted shares of Tree.com stock, valued on that date at $171,071, even though thousands of the shares were not due to vest for another 16 months.
Without the board’s action, the shares would have expired, making them worthless. Tree.com founder and Chief Executive Officer Doug Lebda told the AP in an interview that the decision to accelerate the vesting of the shares for retiring board members is standard practice at the company.
McCrory’s total take of $185,509 from Tree.com in 2013 far exceeded the $139,590 salary he earned as governor that year.
(Which is why Pat McCrory is a compassionate governor with a true sense of the plight of the non-plutocrat and the poor. Ok, now back to Tree.com…)
[U.S. Rep. from South Carolina Mark] Sanford joined the Tree.com board in April 2012 after finishing his term as South Carolina governor in a cloud of ethics questions. He had been forced to pay $74,000 to settle 37 state ethics charges, including using taxpayer funds to pay for flights to Argentina to visit his mistress.
All told, Sanford cleared $239,159 in stock, director’s fees and special dividends in his 13 months with Tree.com, records show. Since then, Sanford has voted on financial regulations in Congress, where rank-and-file members are paid an annual salary of $174,000.
And I didn’t even bring up S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who has her own special brand of ethics too.