BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County Grand Jury has indicted former District Attorney Rex Gore for allegedly signing off on false expense reports for an assistant district attorney while in office.
According to the indictment, Gore, who served Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen Counties signed off on ADA Elaine Kelley’s expense reports claiming gas money in excess of $14,000 that was not eligible for reimbursement. Gore allegedly told Kelley to claim travel that never took place.
Gore is charged with felonious conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses.
The Grand Jury also indicted Kelley for obtaining property by false pretense and felonious conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses. According to court documents, Kelley filed reports falsely claiming she drove from Elizabethtown to Bolivia at least once a week for five years for work.
Kelley has not yet returned a phone message seeking comment.
In a statement, Gore said: “In the spring of 2005 I hired Elaine Kelly to supervise prosecutions in the Bladen County unit of the District Attorney’s office. Because she was going to be commuting 500-plus miles per week, I included a travel component in her compensation package. It was a choice that I felt I could make because of the broad discretion the elected District Attorney has in handling compensation issues. I had several options available. In the end, I chose a travel mileage plan that limited her to 125 miles for commuting. I have no reason to doubt that each week she claimed that mileage; she consistently traveled at least that many miles. Shortly after I left office at the end of 2010, my authority to approve that compensation package came into question. Eighteen months later my decision has resulted in this charge. I had no intent to overstep my authority.
“While I am disappointed and disagree with the decision to prosecute, I am a strong believer that our jury system is designed in such a way that we ultimately reach right decisions. I am anxious to get this controversy resolved.
“Even though we have entered this current phase, I still take comfort in three things: I received no monetary benefit from my choice; Ms. Kelly received no more money than she would have had I chosen a different compensation package method; and Bladen County had one of the most aggressive, effective prosecutors in the state when she was there.
“I hope that this issue over one of my administrative decisions does not cast a shadow over the great work that prosecutors and staff in the office of the District Attorney have done over the years and continue to do now.”