GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – More than a week after North Carolina GOP Central Committee members voted to censor Chairman Hasan Harnett, controversy continues to grow.
The committee originally gave eight reasons to censor the chairman, including fee differences for tickets to the GOP Convention and publicly posting things that discredited the party.
New details have emerged linking a Pitt Community College employee to the situation that eventually led to Harnett being censored and restricted by his own party.
After being locked out of his account, Harnett received a message from PCC instructor, and GOP district 3 webmaster, Ken Robol.
In the message, Robol told Harnett that he could hack into the website to give the chairman access.The two continued to communicate, eventually leading to a phone call.
Robol said he never meant to harm anyone or do anything illegal.
“I thought they were in crisis situation that I could help, just, that’s it,” Robol said.
Robol said the phone call with Harnett lasted just a few minutes. Harnett said he never accepted Robol’s offer to hack into the website, and Robol said he would have never gone through with it.
Robol said he didn’t agree with some of the reasons why Harnett would want access to the website again. Following the phone call, he alerted Tom Stark, the NC GOP’s legal counsel, to the situation.
“There could be some potentially unethical things, and I just didn’t want to be a part of it,” Robol said.
On Monday, WNCT confirmed there is an investigation at PCC into Robol. However, the details of the investigation were not able to be released.
Harnett said he thinks there is an underlying conspiracy in the NC GOP that has led to the current state of the party.
“We just need to come together, and this is not the time continue down the path of witch hunts,” he said.
With an important election year in North Carolina, Harnett said the drama is distracting from their main mission of getting Republican candidates elected.
Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the NC GOP, agreed. However, Woodhouse blamed the attention the party was getting on Harnett.
“The proper place to work through these issues is not through the media. The Chairman’s insistence in airing internal party business in public is purposefully harmful to electing republicans,” Woodhouse said in a statement to WNCT.
Harnett said it was Woodhouse and the committee who first made the rift in the party public after censoring him. He said his mission remains being open and honest, and doesn’t approve of other party members hiding behind non-disclosure agreements. He said voters in the state deserve to know the truth.
“The current behavior, as exhibited by the person who wrote that statement, clearly it goes opposite of what they believe in,” Harnett said.
Harnett has called on the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to investigate a possible conspiracy in the NC GOP party. He also is calling on other party leaders to release all of the documents pertaining to the case to the public.
The NC GOP will meet again in April, where Harnett could be completely removed as chairman of the party.
The Republican Convention in the state is scheduled for early May. The convention is when delegates are selected to eventually nominate the Republican Presidential candidate.