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North Carolina: blank checks lead to perjury charge against PAC official

AP reports: A felony perjury trial for the treasurer of a political action committee of North Carolina optometrists will begin Feb. 4, a Superior Court judge said Monday.

M. Scott Edwards of Murfreesboro, a longtime friend of fellow optometrist House Speaker Jim Black, is accused of signing false campaign finance reports. Edwards was indicted last month on four felony perjury charges related to reports filed by the North Carolina State Optometric Society PAC in 2002 and 2003.

The charges stem from a State Board of Elections investigation that found individual optometrists had sent checks with blank payee lines to the political action committee managed by Edwards. The payee line was filled in later on at least $14,000 in checks, which went to individual candidates, including Black, D-Mecklenburg.

The political action committee decided which candidates would receive those donations, the board said, allowing the group to give candidates more than the $4,000 per-election limit set by state law. Those donations should have been listed in the PAC's finance reports, according to the board. -- News-Record.com - Greensboro, North Carolina: News: Optometry PAC treasurer trial set for February

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