McCrory office nixes elections board hiring of some lawyers

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory's office has rejected the hiring of some private lawyers to represent the State Board of Elections in litigation that could affect vote margins in the yet-resolved race for governor.

McCrory's legal counsel Tuesday rejected the board's request for three attorneys from the Brooks Pierce law firm. The email by Bob Stephens to the board gave no explanation. Stephens did sign off on the hiring of another outside attorney.

The board sought help to defend itself in a lawsuit filed by the leader of a conservative group over the counting of ballots cast by people registered to vote during the early voting period.

Potential conflicts could be raised if Attorney General Roy Cooper's office defended the board in the lawsuit, since Cooper leads McCrory by several thousand votes.

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