The North Carolina State Ethics Commission doesn't want State Auditor Les Merritt to look into a claim that commissioners gave preferential treatment to an aide to Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue.
The commission has filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court seeking to prevent Merritt's office from investigating why the aide reviewed state files in private at the commission's office. Visitors typically review files in a conference room.
A commission employee who noted the incident in a state log was later fired.
The commission's suit said Merritt shouldn't investigate because one of his employees use to work for the commission. The suit also claims Merritt denigrated the commission in a radio interview.
The State Auditor's Office said the lawsuit is without merit and Merritt takes strides to remain independent.