Former legislator Charles Thomas is now also the former Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the NC House after an intimate relationship with a lobbyist has been exposed by the Raleigh News & Observer.
Thomas, a Republican, served in the North Carolina House of Representatives representing the 116th House District in Buncombe County after defeating Doug Jones by less than 500 votes on November 6, 2006. He did not seek re-election.
An excerpt from the N&O article:
RALEIGH -- The chief of staff to state House Speaker Thom Tillis has been in an intimate relationship with a lobbyist for the North Carolina Home Builders Association, a special interest group that often seeks help from the legislature and provides money to political campaigns across the state.Source: Raleigh News & Observer
Charles Thomas, Tillis’ chief of staff, resigned Thursday evening after being questioned about the relationship by The News & Observer.
Tillis issued a brief statement to The N&O, saying Thomas “verbally offered his resignation. I have accepted it this evening.”
Photographs, video and reports of eyewitness accounts show Thomas sharing intimate moments in public with Jessica B. Hayes, who records show has been a lobbyist for the home builders since 2008.
State ethics laws seek to ensure that public officials exercise their authority “free from impropriety, threats, favoritism, and undue influence.” Lobbying laws regulate the point at which a lobbyist intersects with a public official, mostly aimed at prohibiting gift giving.
The News & Observer reports that Charles Thomas believes
...someone is out to get him, probably connected to a local issue in his hometown of Asheville, in what the former Army soldier called an “assassination.”
Perhaps so, but that does not excuse him, or Mrs. Hayes, from committing adultery...especially in public, and especially while he was employed by an elected official. He should have known better not just on moral grounds, but should have known that he would be under extra scrutiny from Lefties and the Lefty Media since he was working for a Republican in a Republican-controlled legislature...which has been a rare thing in North Carolina history. This is his fault for being bold and careless enough to be engaged in infidelity in public places. He has no one to blame but himself.
Previous coverage of Charles Thomas:
NC Representative Charles Thomas Attacks Congressional Candidate Carl Mumpower After Radio Debate