Lawyer for central figure in NC-09 investigation releases statement, denies client broke law

Lawyer for central figure in NC-09 investigation releases statement, denies client broke law
McCrae Dowless, left, and Mark Harris are pictured together at a dinner in Bladen County in March. (Source: Viewer submitted)

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WBTV) - The lawyer for a man who has come to be a central figure in the ongoing scrutiny over potential voting irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District has issued a statement on her client’s behalf.

The statement, released to WBTV early Tuesday afternoon on behalf of McCrae Dowless, is the first time Dowless has publicly address the media regarding the 2018 election.

Dowless worked for Republican Mark Harris, who narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in the race for the 9th Congressional District.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has refused to certify the results of the race and has scheduled an evidentiary hearing in the matter for January 11, 2019.

Specifically, investigators from the NCSBE have been probing reports of ballot irregularities in Bladen and Robeson Counties.

In the weeks since the NCSBE voted to not certify the results of the race, much of the media scrutiny has been placed on Dowless and the people he paid to promote voting through absentee ballots.

WBTV has identified two other coordinated absentee ballot efforts; one based on handwritten notes that appear to outline an arrangement by which someone would pay for unsealed ballots and another involving efforts by two women paid by the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC.

On Tuesday, Dowless' attorney, Cynthia Adams Singletary, released the following statement on Dowless' behalf:

“Mr. Dowless is a highly respected member of our community who is routinely sought after for his campaign expertise. He has not violated any State or Federal campaign laws and current ongoing investigations will prove the same. All speculation is premature and wholly unwarranted.”

“My client and his family respectfully ask for privacy during this Holiday Season and beyond. Mr. Dowless and I look forward to addressing all questions and concerns in the proper forum.”

An employee of Dowless' previously denied any wrongdoing in an interview with WBTV last week.

Lisa Britt, who was identified in several affidavits submitted by the North Carolina Democratic Party as having collected ballots from voters, said she never collected a person’s absentee ballot and did not act in any other way that would violate a law related to absentee voting.

Britt said she had detailed her actions for NCSBE investigators. It is not clear whether Dowless has spoken with investigators.

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