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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.

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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.

“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.

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

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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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