It's not every day that one elected official accuses another of potentially committing a felony and then both tell police about their relationship.
As noted in today's article, a Cary police report shows that Wake County school board member Debra Goldman reported in June 2010 that $130,000 was stolen from her home and that she named board member Chris Malone as a potential suspect.
Malone was able to satisfy investigators that he didn't commit the burglary. In the process, both board members gave conflicting statements about whether they had a romantic relationship.
Goldman and Malone did not return multiple phone calls over the past two days requesting comment.
The reason all of this coming to light now and not two years ago is the details about the allegations aren't public record. The only thing that is officially public record is the incident report in which Goldman reported the crime.
The statements made by Goldman and Malone are in the narrative report, which are the case notes of the investigators, which police are not required to make public. Cary police have declined to provide a copy of the narrative report.
The News & Observer received a copy of the narrative report on Thursday from an unknown source. After checking with multiple sources, we were able to confirm that it's a genuine report.
With Election Day just weeks away, the timing isn't great for Goldman, the GOP nominee for state auditor and Malone, a GOP candidate for state House.
Let's get into the report itself.
Goldman reported the burglary on June 12, 2010. She told police that it had taken place while she was out participating in a Race for the Cure event.
Goldman reported that $100,000 in jewelry and $20,000 in cash were taken from "a ratty pink backpack." She also reported that $10,000 in coins from her coin collection were also missing from a suitcase.
"I asked DEBRA as to why she kept so much cash on hand in her home and she stated that she is a retired FIREFIGHTER and BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR," according to the notes of Detective Joseph Lengel. "She was working in PENNSYLVANIA when 9/11/01 occurred. After the terrorist attacks, she found it very difficult to get money from her bank in order to pay her bills.
She stated that ever since then, she has always had money on hand at her home for emergencies. She admitted that it was alot of money. DEBRA went onto say that over the years she had got better about having so much money in the home and the amount would drop. A terrorist attack or plot would occur and she would build this fund up again."
Goldman was asked to list possible suspects, prompting her to mention names of members of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition. The report mistakenly calls Goldman's 2009 school board opponent "Lois Cox" instead of Lois Nixon.
"I then asked DEBRA if she knew of anyone that would want to steal from her and she stated that she did," Lengel wrote in the report. "DEBRA stated that she ran for the WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION SEAT against LOIS COX. She advised that LOIS also had a political consultant helping her campaign named PERRY WOODS.
DEBRA advised that Lois was well connected in WAKE COUNTY and thought that she was going to win the election is [sic] a landslide. DEBRA advised that she beat LOIS in a landslide and ever since then, LOIS has been attempting to harass her."
Goldman brought up how her car was broken into when she had attended a 2009 debate with Nixon on WPTF. According to the report, Goldman said it was "odd" that Woods was at the radio station and that "LOIS and PERRY intentionally parked their cars a long ways away from the radio station as to not be near her car."
Goldman is also quoted in the report as saying that "PERRY was laughing at the scene."
"DEBRA went onto say that LOIS has several friends that make up a group called GREAT SCHOOLS IN WAKE COALITION," according to the report. The report lists Yevonne Brannon, Woods and Karen Rindge.
The report also says that "LOIS is good friends with one of the WAKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, STAN NORWALK."
"DEBRA went onto say that YVONNE (sic) causes problems during meetings," the report says. "She is known to make messes at meetings, cause disruptions when DEBRA is trying to speak, and other nuiances (sic) to upset or disrupt the meetings. DEBRA stated that she believes that LOIS or YVONNE (sic) would pay someone to break into her home."
Goldman would later identify Malone as a suspect to investigator Thomas Stewart.
The report indicates that Goldman discussed the nature of her relationship with Malone, who said they had become "good friends" during the 2009 elections but "nothing more."
The report describes how Goldman says Malone repeatedly pursued her romantically over several months and was told to stop, only to start again.
"As time continued to move forward, Goldman stated that it became clear that Malone more of a romantic type relationship rather, then (sic) a freindship (sic)," according to Stewart's notes. "In December, Malone sent numerous text messages to Goldman. Goldman asked Malone to stop, and focus on his love for his wife and family."
The report says that Goldman told Stewart that Malone became "more persistent" in texting and calling her, including texts sent after midnight that she would not respond to.
The report says that Goldman told Malone on numerous occasions "to stop contacting her on a personal level." The report says that Goldman told Malone in May that "she was not interested in a relationship with Malone, and to stop trying to create one." The report says Malone's response was to cry, hand an envelope containing a gift certificate for a massage and promise to leave her alone.
"A few weeks later, Maolne (sic) started to pursue Goldman again," according to the report. "Malone told Golman (sic) even though he knew she was not interested in a relationship with him, he had to tell Goldman he was in love with her. Goldman again told Malone she was not interested, and told him this behavior needed to stop."
The report also says that Goldman told Stewart that Malone "would complain about being in debt" and "never had any cash, and often needed to be spotted money to cover him for lunch or dinners the group went to before or after school board meetings."
Goldman said that she attended school board meetings June 7 and June 8 and that her house key was "stolen" from her brief case. She said Malone was sitting next to her on those days.
Goldman also told investigators it was "very odd" and "very suspicious" that, based on his financial situation, Malone had purchased a new pickup truck days after the burglary.
The report shows that Stewart turned his attention to Malone. Initially, attorney Kieran Shanahan called Stewart on Malone's behalf before recusing himself due a conflict of interest because he represents Goldman on some matters, in addition to representing the board.
The report shows that Malone, accompanied by attorneys Phil Isley and Hardy Lewis, met with Stewart.
The report says Malone told Stewart he and Goldman became friends during the election, including how she told him "she wished she was married to a guy like him." But from there, the report shows that Malone painted a rapidly different account from Goldman of what happened next.
The report says that Malone and Goldman met at the Clarion Hotel in downtown Raleigh in the last week of October, where "the two of them started to kiss and make out at the top of the Clarion."
"I asked Malone how he would characterize his relationship with Goldman at the time all of this was taking place, and he replied 'like high school kids dating,'" Stewart wrote in the report. "During this time, and the weeks to follow, that relationship got more personal and physical. Malone stated they never had intercourse, but stated what did take place was very heated physicly (sic)."
The report says that Malone indicates the relationship got to the point where thousands of emails were sent between the two. The report says that Malone told police that Goldman "made it clear all e-mails needed to be deleted" from their personal accounts because a political group was requesting all school board members emails on personal and district accounts.
Over time, the report says that Malone described the relationship as being "on again/off again." But by early May, Malone said in the report that "he knew for certain everything in Goldmans (sic) mind was over."
"Malone did make the comment that he was "out of (expletive) control in regards to this entire matter involving his relationship with Goldman," the report says. "At the same time, Malone stated Goldman would do things to make him feel in his mind that the 'more than friends relationship' had a chance."
According to the report, Malone says on June 23 that Goldman told him "she did not want to have anymore personal conversations with him, no more touching, personal contact, ect. (sic)."
"As our conversation continues, I asked Malone if in May the romantic relationship between he and Goldman is over," Stewart writes in the report. "Malone replies he knows there will be no more qiuckies (sic) in the car, no more meeting at the Hampton Inn on Harrision (sic) Ave, but they are more then (sic) just working stiffs. They are friends that could talk about personal issues."
Stewart asked Malone about his finances.
"Malone told me has had money problems for quite some time," Stewart writes in the report. "Malone stated that he had been in debt for several years, but now he was doing fine."
The report says Malone told police that his brother, Michael, "helped him out by giving him some cash, and paying alot of Chriss (sic) bills off." Malone told Stewart that he had gotten about $15,000, with $5,000 of it in cash and the rest to pay his debts.
The report shows that Malone and his brother provided financial records to police to show that the money received "was prior to the month of June when the burglary in question had taken place." Shanahan was with Michael Malone when Stewart interviewed him.
The report shows that on Oct. 4, Stewart called Goldman to let her know that "there was not enough evidence to warrant any criminal charges" and that "this case was going to be inactivated at this point."
That call came one day before the Oct. 5 vote in which Goldman joined with Democrats in killing the zone plan.
Ron Margiotta, who was school board chairman at the time, said he thinks Goldman’s allegation against Malone played a role in her vote against the assignment plan.
“She was trying to push back against him and show her independence,” Margiotta said of Goldman’s vote.
Margiotta said the fact that Goldman had put the finger on Malone strained relations among members of the board majority.
"It certainly had an impact,” Margiotta said. “I had a responsibility to keep them working together. I can’t tell you how much time was spent dealing with them.”
As for the whether there was a romantic relationship, Steven Goldman, Debra Goldman's estranged husband, said he knew that his wife and Malone were having one.
"I didn’t want to split up my family and I turned a blind eye to it as long as I could,” said Steven Goldman, who said he had not sent the police report to the News & Observer and hasn't been able to get a copy of the report.
Steven Goldman is engaged in civil litigation with Debra Goldman over the distribution of their assets and custody of their children, according to court documents. In addition, they’ve requested protection orders against each other.
While Margiotta declined comment on whether Goldman and Malone had a romantic relationship, he said that he frequently heard from people who were concerned about the way the two were acting together in public.
“It seemed to be common knowledge that there was a relationship going on,” Margiotta said.