Right on the heels of Democrats announcing that their 2012 convention will be in Charlotte, an investigation into North Carolina Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue appears to be intensifying.
The State Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe looking into Perdue's campaign finances. At this point, the details of what they are looking for is unclear, but Perdue lawyering up is a clear indicator that the investigation is progressing.
The investigation could draw unwanted scrutiny for North Carolina Democrats next year, at the worst possible time. Home state governors are typically featured front and center at conventions, and if the probe turns up anything it will undoubtedly draw attention. There is also a possibility that former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards could face a 2012 trial over whether he inappropriately used presidential campaign funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter.
Perdue has hired two of the state's top defense attorneys, Joseph B. Cheshire V and Wade Smith, a sign of the significance of the investigation.
The Raleigh News and Observer reports that the District Attorney leading the investigation, Colon Willoughby, has said that subpoenas have been issued to witnesses asking them to appear before a federal grand jury.
This isn't the first time Perdue has had a run in regarding her campaign finances. Last August, North Carolina's Board of Elections fined Perdue $30,000 for failing to properly report airline flights. It has not been proven, however, the Perdue knew of the faulty record keeping.