RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A wealthy backer of former Gov. Beverly Perdue is charged with obstructing justice in a scheme to secretly pay a campaign staffer during the Democrat's 2008 campaign.
Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Tuesday a grand jury has indicted Morganton fast-food restaurant owner Charles Michael Fulenwider on a misdemeanor obstruction charge.
A grand jury earlier found probable cause to believe Fulenwider broke the law by funneling $32,000 to a Chapel Hill financial firm to help pay a Perdue fundraiser's salary.
Willoughby says the indictment comes ahead of a hearing Wednesday for Fulenwider, Robert Caldwell of Morganton and long-time Perdue family friend Trawick "Buzzy" Stubbs Jr.
Willoughby says the hearing could hasten the close of a long-running case involving undisclosed private plane flights for Perdue during her 2008 campaign.