WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Last week we told you about an e-mail between New Hanover County Commissioner Bill Caster and a volunteer for his campaign. That story got a lot of people talking, and one important question that came out of the discussion was whether Caster could use county e-mail for campaign communication.
We called the county and state Boards of Elections looking for an answer. Today we finally heard back from the state.
The state board pointed us to a state statute that says, "no employee may use county funds, supplies, or equipment for partisan purposes, or for political purposes except where such political uses are otherwise permitted by law." Well, Caster gets paid by the county. That seems to make him an employee.
And we found several e-mails from his county account that are clearly campaign-related, including one to a supporter in which he says, "This has been of the worse (sic) experiences in my life... Please call your friends and neighbors and get them out to vote. It is all about voter turnout."
In another he asks a supporter to get fellow members of American Legion Post 10 "to get out and vote for me. Can you imagine Berger even being a candidate in November?"
The state Board of Elections said the district attorney would have to decide if Caster or any candidate broke the law. New Hanover County DA Ben David is out of town. We've sent the e-mails we found to his office so he can review them when he gets back.