CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory returned to his home city of Charlotte to announce 2,600 well-paying jobs, only to rush out a back exit and slam a car door on reporters trying to question him about his role in securing $94 million in tax breaks to get those jobs.
While running for Governor, McCrory worked as a “Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives” at the Moore and Van Allen law firm.
At the same time, the firms economic development team was working for MetLife lobbying for the tax breaks in exchange for the jobs.
But both the Governor’s office and the law firm say McCrory himself did not work on the Met Life project.
When NBC Charlotte asked Commerce Secretary Secretary Sharon Decker what if any role McCrory played at Moore and Van Allen in securing the Met Life deal her response was:
“None whatsoever. The contact was all with me and I managed this process from the very beginning inside Commerce. But there was no interface with the Governor at all till the very end. And of course it's helpful to have a governor to kind of clinch the deal. But not in relation to Moore and Van Allen at all.”
Secretary Decker said the tax incentives are a fact of life in the competitive world of good-paying jobs.
She said North Carolina does not offer cash up front to lure jobs, instead offering what she called “incentive based” tax breaks including so-called “clawbacks” to protect taxpayers in the event the jobs never materialize.