Politics & Government

Arrests, money problems, state probe: These are the NC legislative candidates

Voting machines
Voting machines Staff Photographer

One Democratic candidate is under investigation by the state board of elections.

Another Democratic candidate has seen his bill for an unpaid judgment accrue to well over a quarter-million dollars.

And one Republican candidate was arrested at a Moral Monday rally — as an LGBTQ activist and a Democrat.

Those are some of the findings of a review of the legal and criminal records of Mecklenburg County legislative candidates running in the May 8 primary and the November election.

The Observer reviewed civil and criminal court records for all the candidates. Some had personal or business setbacks. Some faced arrest. One is under investigation by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

Some findings were previously published if a candidate ran in the past. Some are new. Here's a list of the findings.

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Roderick Davis, D, Senate District 38

District covers a wide swath of north Charlotte from the airport to the Cabarrus County line.

Last September, a judge dismissed charges that Davis had assaulted a security guard. The Observer published details of the incident when Davis ran for Charlotte City Council last fall.

Roderick Davis Courtesy Roderick Davis

He said at the time that he'd been walking through the transit center one morning when he heard the officer directing a racial comment toward a woman and then to him. "Before I knew it (it) was tussling," Davis said. The candidate, who got 48 percent of the vote in the 2016 Senate primary, could not be reached.

Joel Ford, D, Senate District 38

When he ran for mayor last fall, the Observer reported that court records showed Ford, a state senator, faced a judgment to Bank of America that amounted to $258,314. It's now up to $262,201, according to records.

Joel Ford
Joel Ford Courtesy Joel Ford

In a statement last fall, Ford said, "I have taken responsibility to clear this legal matter. And I expect to be legally cleared of any responsibility through actions from my attorney through the courts."

"I'm still working it out," he said recently.

Chad Stachowicz, D, Senate District 39

District runs south from central Charlotte to Union County; includes Matthews and Mint Hill.

Stachowicz was charged with DWI in 2008, when he was 23. He says though he was young and "a different person," he has no excuse.

Chad Stachowicz
Chad Stachowicz Courtesy Chad Stachowicz

Ty Turner, R, House District 88

Includes much of west Charlotte from Dilworth to Gaston County.

In 2014, Turner was arrested during a Moral Monday protest in uptown Charlotte. It was an arrest that made headlines for the police response. Moral Monday was the movement that started to protest actions by the General Assembly.

Turner had run unsuccessfully for the state Senate as a Democrat that spring. A few months later, he joined Moral Monday protesters uptown. He was passing out political handbills when officers approached and told him he was violating an ordinance. An argument ensued and Turner was handcuffed and put in a police cruiser.

Ty Turner
Ty Turner Courtesy Ty Turner

Records showed Turner was evicted from apartments in 2004, when he was a student at N.C. A&T, and in 2010. He says he doesn't remember the second instance.

Rodney Moore, D, House District 99

Includes northeast Charlotte including the University area.

Moore is under investigation by the state elections board. Officials said he has failed to respond to repeated requests for bank records involving at least $10,200 in unreported contributions.

RM lead image
Rep. Rodney Moore File photo

Moore has said he’s hired a lawyer.

Jackson Pethtal, D, House District 99

Pethtal was arrested in 2011 when police found an open bottle of alcohol on the motorcycle he was riding, records show. He was arrested again in 2016 when officers found cannabis in his car. The charges were dismissed.

Pethtal maintains that the searches were illegal.

Jackson Pethtal
Jackson Pethtal Courtesy Jackson Pethtal

"My experiences have given me the ability to see first hand where problems within the justice system lie and a solid perspective to try to address shortcomings."

Nancy Campbell, R, House District 100

District takes in much of east Charlotte.

Records show Campbell faces an IRS lien for $5,179 from 2008. She did not return multiple phone calls.

Lucille Puckett, D, House District 101