A Peek Inside George Holding, Inc. : Mostly smoke and mirrors

George Holding’s background is a campaign consultant’s dream come true.  He’s the scion of the First Citizen’s Bank empire, a former aide to U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, and a former U.S. attorney who presided over high-profile political corruption probes.  Holding is currently trying to capitalize on that resumé by running in the GOP primary for North Carolina’s 13th congressional district.  On paper, he looks like the perfect candidate.  However, those who have worked with him say you shouldn’t believe his press clippings.

I have two good friends in law enforcement who worked quite close with then – U.S. Attorney Holding’s office.  (For the purposes of this article, I will refer to them as Agent A and Agent B.)  The mainstream media gives Holding all kinds of credit for probes against Mike Easley, John Edwards, and The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Agents A & B tell me those probes all got started under Holding’s predecessor Frank Whitney, who got appointed to a federal judgeship by George W. Bush.  According to Agent A:

“It was almost like we were working against  Holding.    We had built up tremendous cases.  We’d have meetings to review our findings.  Holding and his staff — instead of looking for the strongest possible case — always started off looking for the quickest way to cut a deal and get the matter off the docket.  It was a real slap in the face to the field agents who worked so hard to build those cases. ”

Agent B said Holding’s predecessor had a much more aggressive approach to the job than Holding did.  Agent B  said one of Holding’s aides told him that Holding didn’t like to try cases — because he was so weak in that area — and did everything he could to avoid the courtroom.   Agent B said Holding and his team were frequently berated by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle — also a Helms alum:

“Judge Boyle was frequently riding them. He’d review the evidence, and see a very strong case. Then, he’d look at the weak, piddly charges Holding’s office was bringing, and he’d lose it.  Like us, he couldn’t understand why the U.S. Attorney wouldn’t swing for the fence when a fastball came his way.”


2 thoughts on “A Peek Inside George Holding, Inc. : Mostly smoke and mirrors

  1. You are right DH; Holding’s policy was to plea bargain and Boyle would get quite irritated. His office folk would often talk about how much time and $$ the lady USA in Charlotte was wasting by going to court.

    In particular I recall a ruling by Boyle on a couple of the Currituck Ferry underlings who though worthy of mercy, failed to ID Basnight as the order giver on an illegal project. Boyle kept chastising the fed prosecutors for not discovering the source – not answering the question, and he gave them a relatively light sentence (which was likely what he’d done anyway for other reasons). The feds appealled and the 4th Dist Crt ordered him to rule again. He did and although it came around differently they received pretty much the same sentencing.

  2. Not everyone who worked with Jesse Helms, believed or have convictions like he did. I never got the honor to meet Senator Helms, but I have to say that he is my hero. Sounds like Mr. Holding might be scared of making waves. We need people in Congress who are bold and conservative, not weak and timid.

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