Since Gov. Bev Perdue ousted one N.C. Highway Patrol commander in favor of a longtime friend, Randy Glover, we've been asking whether she had helped him for much of his career.
It wasn't until late Friday, after announcing Glover had stepped down from the patrol, that Perdue confirmed what one patrol insider had been saying: that she had helped him climb the patrol's hierarchy.
Here is a history of how she and her staff have handled this question since July 1, 2010, shortly after Glover's appointment was announced:
July 2009 (from press secretary Chrissy Pearson): "I talked to the governor about whether she remembered doing any sort of recommendation for Glover. She did not."
Oct. 22: Perdue, from China in a teleconference with reporters, did not answer the question, but noted that Glover's predecessor, Walter J. Wilson Jr., had promoted him to second-in-command. She chastised us for reporting Glover's 1987 transfer for having an affair with a Harnett County dispatcher. "This is a man who is lieutenant colonel of the Highway Patrol. He had an affair nearly 25 years ago. He's married with two beautiful little daughters, and I really, really am disappointed in this kind of journalism. And did I disclose it? I will have to be very honest with you. I never once in any interview for any position ask anyone about their sexual preference, their sexual orientation or their past marital history. I didn't figure it had a thing to do with the job they could do for the people of North Carolina."
Jan. 7: On her blog, Perdue challenges our reporting on Glover. We "went too far when Dan Kane wrote, regarding a past affair by Highway Patrol Col. Randy Glover, that I 'said the affair is irrelevant when it comes to Glover's abilities to lead the Highway Patrol.' This is not true, and Kane's reporting on Col. Glover continues to be peppered with inaccuracies." We asked Pearson to name those inaccuracies. She did not.
July 7: At a news conference to announce get-tough patrol policies, Perdue provides three answers to the promotion question in the following succession:
"I don't think anybody can say who intervened when. I'll tell you what, I didn't intervene when he went from lieutenant colonel to colonel."
"Randy Glover never asked me for a thing."
"I don't intervene in promotions. I don't intervene in promotions. I never intervene in promotions."
She was responding to our report that day that a former patrol secretary, Jacquelyn Walker, said that Perdue helped Glover get promoted to first sergeant in 1995 after his name was left off of a promotions list.
All of this leads up to the statement Perdue issued Friday afternoon, a few hours after Glover stepped down: "I have offered many recommendations on which men and women deserved recognition at agencies throughout state government, including Randy Glover and other qualified troopers at the Highway Patrol."
Such recommendations are not public record under the state's personnel law. This past session, state lawmakers as part of an omnibus ethics bill approved reforms to the law that would make salary and employment histories, and dismissal letters public. But they did not accept Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger's proposal that hiring recommendations from elected officials be made public.
Pearson said Perdue intends to sign the ethics bill into law.