Campaign mailer targets GOP candidate who sued NC Speaker Moore over affair with his wife

A flyer attacking Scott Lassiter, who is running to represent southern Wake County in the state Senate, has reignited the conversation on his driving record and lawsuit he filed against powerful House Speaker Tim Moore over an extramarital affair.

The flyer mailed to voters, which says it was paid for by Vicki Harry Committee, Lassiter’s opponent’s campaign, features a picture of Lassiter alongside text that references a 2012 driving while impaired conviction and claims that he threatened the career of his former wife and abused her.

Harry, who is running against Lassiter in the Republican primary for the newly drawn Senate District 13, did not respond to a call and voicemail from The News & Observer. Neither did the treasurer of the Vicki Harry Committee listed in state campaign finance reports.

Lassiter, who is a former Apex Town Council member and current vice chair of the Wake Soil and Water District, and who shared the mailer with The N&O, pushed back against these claims.

He said in a phone interview with The N&O on Thursday that aside from the flyer’s allegations being “totally false” and “a misrepresentation of the truth,” he would “like to remind voters that this election is not about a previous marriage. And it shouldn’t be about a single mistake I made in my college days, almost 15 years ago.”

“I’m trying to continue to be the issues candidate that speaks about the needs of Wake County, the district and the state,” he said.

“I made some powerful enemies and embarrassed some powerful people when I sort of refused, well, when I fought for myself and my family.”

Abuse allegations

The flyer says that “just last year, Scott Lassiter lashed out at his estranged wife who said he had abused her and threatened her career.” The flyer also quotes Lassiter’s former wife, Jamie Liles, as having said Lassiter has “serious mental health and substance abuse issues.”

This appears to be referencing comments Lassiter’s former wife made through her attorney last year to The N&O and other media outlets following the alienation of affection lawsuit, based on a law in North Carolina that permits jilted partners to sue.

She said that Lassiter had “serious mental health and substance abuse issues, which I can only assume led him to file this outrageous and defamatory suit” and “to be clear, I’m a strong professional woman, and the only person who has ever abused me or threatened my career was my soon to be ex-husband.”

Lassiter had sued Moore accusing him of breaking up his marriage by sleeping with his wife, who is a state employee. He also accused Moore of trading sex for political favors.

Attorneys for both parties said in July that the case was resolved but did not provide details. Moore in an interview with The N&O acknowledged having an “on-again, off-again” relationship with Lassiter’s former wife since 2019 but denied using his influence in exchange for sexual favors.

He also said he believed she was separated. Social media photos show the Lassiters together through December 2022 enjoying Christmas parades and sitting on Santa’s lap, as previously reported by The N&O.

Moore, who is running for Congress in a redrawn Charlotte-area district, did not reply to a call or voicemail on Thursday. Neither did his attorney for the alienation of affection lawsuit.

Settlement details

In response to this attack ad, Lassiter, an assistant principal in Wake County Public Schools, said he also texted out a message to over 10,000 people on his campaign’s phone list that said that “despite the lies, I’ve never abused anyone, much less a woman. If I had, the school system would’ve fired me, I’d have lost my firearms license, and I certainly wouldn’t have received an unequal distribution of marital assets (and a substantial settlement check).”

Asked about these marital assets and “substantial” settlement check, Lassiter told The N&O he thought “readers are savvy enough to understand why lawsuits would be dropped prior to going into trial.”

Asked to confirm the comment was referencing the alienation of affection lawsuit, Lassiter said “I’m gonna let the statement from text speak for itself but I had no other legal actions going on.”

Lassiter also said in his text that his campaign was in the “process of serving notice to the reckless Harry campaign over these lies.” He told The N&O it was a cease-and-desist letter and that he had not yet received any response.

Lassiter’s former wife declined to comment. But she appears to be in favor of Harry’s campaign, as she is featured in a photo from January posted by Vicki Harry’s Instagram account as having attended a fundraiser for her.

Harry, who was a Wake Christian Academy teacher for seven years as well as a small business owner, has several endorsements from Republicans.

Those include Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Holly Springs Mayor Sean Mayefskie and Rep. Erin Paré, according to Harry’s website.

DWI conviction

Wake County district court records show that in February 2011, Lassiter — who was at the time running for Apex Town Councilor — was stopped by an officer for failing to maintain lane control.

Lassiter was breathalyzed and test results showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.11. The legal limit to drive is 0.08.

Indy Week reported that Lassiter initially attempted to blame indigestion for the failed breath test but ultimately accepted a guilty verdict on the misdemeanor DWI charge.