RALEIGH, N.C. —
The Chief of Staff to House Speaker Thom Tillis has resigned over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist.
That lobbyist, Jessica Hayes, also stepped down Friday, NBC-17 has learned.
Charles Thomas headed up the Tillis staff until last night. He called his boss and offered his resignation after it was alleged the married father and former State Representative was having a romantic relationship with an also married, powerful lobbyist. Her job was to gain political access.
State ethics laws, as well as lobbying rules, are murky when it comes to relationships. The Ethics Commission will have to investigate the alleged incident further.
“In this case, it could just be the appearance of impropriety that is the problem,” said political science professor David McLennan.