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Ex-GOP official stole $1 million from taxpayers to go on lavish vacations — blames mental illness for thefts

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Former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick.

A Republican former state official in North Carolina pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1 million Friday — and claimed a mental illness causing her to compulsively hoard money led to the theft.

Raleigh’s WRAL reported that former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick received six felony charges of embezzlement by a public officer.

Investigators found that Riddick stole more than $900,000 from public coffers between 2010 and 2017. The report noted that the former official went on lavish vacations in and outside of the state, including to resorts in Blowing Rock and Waynesville, NC and in Florida as well.

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“Documents related to the investigation show almost-daily deposits into Riddick’s bank accounts over a period of more than seven years,” WRAL noted. She was not discovered until her office switched to a new cash-handling system because the accounts were doctored.

Prior to her sentencing, Riddick’s lawyer Joe Zeszotarski told the jury that the Republican has a heart condition and was abused as a child, which he said led to her “compulsion to hoard money.”

“Holding an elected position of trust, I committed a serious crime for which I will always be deeply remorseful,” the ex-official told the judge, reportedly while her voice cracked with emotion.

(Full disclosure: This reporter worked for the Board of Elections in Wake County but never met or dealt with Riddick.)

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Her plea deal included a payment of $926,615 to the government in restitution for the funds she stole and a prison sentence of five to seven years — some of which may be served on a work-release program that will allow her to “leave prison on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to work in the community.”


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Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

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Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

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The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

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Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

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