London pleaded guilty in early December to larceny — a charge which involved the misuse and misappropriation of funds belonging to a client of her non-Steinburg-related side business. Steinburg publicly defended London after the plea — accusing the prosecutor and the judicial system in Dare County of political malfeasance. The legislator said he had confidence in her, and would keep her on as an employee.
The prosecutor responded by releasing an audio tape featuring London talking openly about the charge with one of the victims in the case. On the tape, she could be heard admitting to “stealing” from the victims.
On December 12, Steinburg publicly announced that he terminated London’s employment as his legislative aide effective December 10. He stated that he changed his mind because she had misled him about the existence of the incriminating tape.
His fourth quarter campaign report, released just this week, included this curious notation:
An interest-free personal loan of $5000 to pay an aide he had fired two days earlier for misleading him about stealing from another employer?
And then there was THIS disbursement on the same campaign filing:
A loan of $5000 to reportedly PAY London, but only $4500 actually disbursed to her?
Here were the previous payments to London listed on the campaign’s third quarter report:
If you consider the 7/28 payment as being for July, and the 9/1 payment of $4500 for August, September and October, then all that would remain to be paid would be services through November 6 (election day). In other words, a total of SIX DAYS.
So, WHY the $4500 payment to London more than a month after the election was over — and on the same day she was reportedly FIRED as Steinburg’s legislative aide?