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Beaulieu files campaign finance complaint against fellow school board candidates

Beaulieu files campaign finance complaint against fellow school board candidates
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Incumbent New Hanover County School Board Member Nelson Beaulieu has field a campaign finance complaint with the North Carolina State Board of Elections alleging Judy Justice, another candidate and fellow board member, of several campaign finance violations.

“I just noticed some discrepancies with regards to some of the candidate’s campaign filings and I think, we always talk about transparency, and it’s important whether we’re Democrats or Republicans that we hold ourselves accountable,” Beaulieu said.

Justice says she has been transparent and has properly listed her donors.

“A citizen has the right to file a complaint with the tate board of elections if they have an issue,” Justice said. “Then they normally wait until the investigation and resolution if there is a problem, not run to the media complaining about the other candidates who legitimately won a primary. I know for a fact that what I used my campaign donations for were totally legal. If the state BOE determines that the paperwork needs to be adjusted that will be an easy fix.”

In the complaint, Beaulieu alleges Justice did not properly report the funds used to pay for palm cards that were handed out to voters which include photos of Justice and other candidates Dorian Cromartie and Veronica McLaurin-Brown.

“That was the nature of my complaint, is that I think it’s odd to have a campaign expense report where you say, ‘I’ve donated,’ or, you make public statements saying. ‘I’ve donated to other campaigns and I receive money from other campaigns,’ and then you don’t clarify that,” Beaulieu said. That’s not reflected in your report.”

In the complaint, Beaulieu is referring to Justice’s 2022 first-quarter report, which you can view here.

The public statements Beaulieu refers to are a series of Facebook comments where Justice’s campaign page says a group of teachers paid for the cards to be made. Beaulieu says that was not filed properly.

“I look at it, one of three things are possible: Either there was an incorrect filing, there are public statement which is false, or both,” Beaulieu said. “There are incorrect filings and public statements that are false and I think that’s a problem. And again, there’s nothing criminal in lying, anybody can lie, but I think people should be held accountable in our offices.”

The complaint also accuses Cromartie and McLaurin-Brown of improperly filing their finance reports. Cromartie says his report is complete. You can view it here.

McLaurin-Brown has not responded to a request for comment.

“I have said from the beginning that I want to work with both Dorian and Veronica on the board because they are honest and knowledgeable candidates who have a lot of support in our community because of their many positive traits,” Justice said. “Our district has a lot of huge challenges ahead and we need people like myself and them to provide our schools with the type of leadership and knowledge that will support the quality learning of all students.”

Beaulieu has called for a recount in the democratic primary race for school board. He trails by two votes for the fourth spot on the general election ballot in November. If the result holds, Beaulieu will lose his seat on the school board.

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