Former Gov. Jim Martin has one tie to the man who appointed him to lead an audit of the academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill.
He and Chancellor Holden Thorp serve on the board of directors of the Institute for Defense & Business, a nonprofit that helps the military apply business principles and technology to do a better job.
Martin is the chairman of the nonprofit's board of directors. It is based in Chapel Hill, and includes a number of business and university leaders such as Roger Perry, a local developer and former UNC-CH trustee. Martin and the rest of the board are all unpaid, Martin said.
Martin said today he did not think the connection created a conflict of interest.
"Maybe it's how the chancellor knew me personally because of that, but it certainly doesn't obligate me in any way," Martin said. "And more importantly, he at the beginning has assured me there's no restriction on what I do and where I go. So I'm flexible and can go where the evidence leads."
Martin said he had asked the university to disclose his role on the board. A news release did that, but did not mention that Thorp also serves on the board.
Thorp's predecessor, James Moeser, also served on the board, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Martin, a Republican, is also a former congressman and a former chemistry professor at Davidson College. He also served a term on the UNC Board of Governors.