WILMINGTON -- The investigation continues into state Rep. Thomas Wright. The state Board of Elections wants to know more about campaign contributions he received from executives at a company trying to build a controversial landfill in Brunswick County. There has been a formal complaint filed against Wright with the state Board of Elections. The complaint alleges that he tried to cover up the Hugo Neu contributions. This week, Wright met with the state Board of Elections to get the matter resolved. In December Rep. Wright admitted to accepting contributions from executives at Sims Hugo Neu. Rep. Wright said, "There's nothing wrong with accepting contributions from folks. It's perfectly legal." A recent complaint filed against Wright says he failed to report the contributions by the legally-required deadline. The author of the complaint says that delay effectively kept the contributions a secret from voters until after last November's election. In December Wright denied deliberately hiding anything. During the last election Wright says he was acting as his own campaign treasurer. According to published reports Wright has now appointed a new campaign treasurer. We spoke with the state Board of Elections Friday. Officials say they didn't even know about Wright's new treasurer. Either way their focus now is on the campaign finance reports and when the Hugo Neu contributions were made. If the investigation uncovers any intentional deception by Wright the state Board of Elections could decide to pursue criminal or civil action against him. Rep. Wright did not return our calls for comment today. But in a previous interview he said that he does not look into the backgrounds of his campaign contributors. He also said he would not expect his new treasurer to do that either.
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