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NC Chamber of Commerce officials accuse 'business leaders' of misleading errors in Leandro's synopsis.

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The state’s largest business lobbying group has condemned the tactics employed by a group of “business leaders” to assist plaintiffs in the long-running Leandro Schools financing lawsuit.

A letter from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce general counsel filed in the North Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday denounced misrepresentations by “business leaders.” The letter alleges that the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce was included on the list of “leaders” without her permission. We also oppose the use of the NC Chamber of Commerce name.

The self-proclaimed “recognised leader in the North Carolina business community” submitted a brief to friends in court on July 27. The brief had more than 50 names on him. Each allegedly supported Leandro plaintiff’s desire to have a judge order the transfer of her $785 million from the state Treasury for education-related purposes.

A letter from Ray Sterling, General Counsel for the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, contained one glaring error.

“I am notifying the court today that my unauthorized inclusion of at least one of these individuals was wrong and that the record will delete that individual’s name and that the NC Chamber of Commerce or its officers are not authorized in this matter. I took a stand,” Sterling wrote.

The second-most-cited name among business leaders is “Sepi Asefnia, President and CEO, Sepi Engineering Inc., Chair, NC Chamber.”

Sterling’s letter indicates that the name of Sepi Saidi, the current chairman of the NC Chamber of Commerce, was incorrectly listed in the brief.

“Unfortunately, not only was the name used to refer to Ms. Saidi incorrect, but so was her participation in the project in the first place,” Sterling wrote. Saidi had one 5-6 minute conversation with Mr. Tom Bradshaw on June 29, 2022. Her main opinion was Mr. Bradshaw’s financial commitment to the initiative to support education. It was asking for help.

“She never got involved with or spoke to a lawyer, and never allowed her to participate in legal papers, let alone a new and very important issue, the North Carolina Especially when it comes to whether the state Supreme Court had four judges, Morgan Street could use taxpayer money, and so far only Jones Street’s 170 elected representatives have jurisdiction. It is the authority that I had.”

Starling labeled the fact that the list included a reference to Saidi’s NC Chamber of Commerce title as “equally troubling”.

“The inclusion of this title appears to have been calculated to create confusion, if not outright misrepresentation, in court,” Sterling wrote. made it clear to people. [friend-of-the-court] Efforts will be made to keep the NC Chamber of Commerce out of the case. “

Bradshaw, former mayor of Raleigh and former chairman of the Raleigh and statewide chambers of commerce groups, will speak with Debra Deller, the NC Chamber of Commerce “education officer,” on or about July 11th. did. “Business Leaders” group. According to Sterling’s letter, on July 18, Dar copied Bradshaw in an email confirming the information.

However, on July 21, Gerry Hancock, the attorney associated with the “Business Leaders” brief, contacted Saidi by email. Hancock sought confirmation of Saidi’s participation and her $1,000 donation for legal costs.

“The proposed brief was not attached to the e-mail and Mr. Saidi did not respond to it. Nonetheless, the advice of friendly counsel continued,” Sterling wrote. “They ignored his correspondence from Mr. Derr just three days earlier, failed to make even the most despicable attempt to clarify his desire to join the NC Chamber of Falsely claimed to the court that he was Ms. Saidi’s agent based on conversations: emails from laymen and strangers.

Despite the fact that “I am deeply involved in every instance in which the NC Chamber of Commerce participates in litigation,” he wrote, no one in the “Business Leaders” group contacted Sterling.

“I also serve as president of the NC Chamber Legal Institute (CLI), which is governed by a separate board with a specific process for deciding whether CLI will appear as barrister or participate in litigation. It’s under control,” Sterling added. “I have never been contacted by a friendly group or attorney regarding her participation with the NC Chamber of Commerce or CLI in this case.”

The NC Chamber of Commerce and Saidi “respectfully request that any reference to them be removed from the brief,” Sterling wrote.

The State Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the Leandro case, formally known as Hawk County Board of Education v. State, on August 31.