Former state representative and current North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission member Mike Stone appears to have left key information off his Statement of Economic Interest, a form elected and appointed officials are required to file with the state disclosing their ownership of properties, stocks, income, and other financial involvements.
Stone, a friend of the Rant who served two terms in the state House from 2010 to 2014 and was appointed to the state’s Oil and Gas Commission in 2017 (subscription required) by House Speaker Tim Moore, checked “no” on the form when asked if he owned “any North Carolina real estate (including your residence) with a market value of $10,000 or more.”
But public records show that Stone owns five properties in Lee County. Deeds show he purchased the properties, which range in tax value from $37,600 to $436,400, between 1999 and 2016.
Stone filed the same form at least twice, once in February 2017 in order to serve on the North Carolina Funeral Service Board, and again in October of the same year, when he was appointed to the Oil and Gas Commission. Both times, he signed an affirmation declaring he acknowledged that “a filing person who knowingly conceals or knowingly fails to disclose information that is required to be disclosed on a statement of economic interest under this Article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and shall be subject to disciplinary action under G.S. 138A-45.”
A limited liability company for which Stone is the registered agent and which he lists on the form as his employer, Sanford Real Estate Properties LLC, also owns at least 24 rental properties in Lee County, although it’s unclear whether he is required to disclose ownership of business-owned properties.
Reached for comment Friday, Stone said that “the form had changed” in 2017 to include the line “(including your residence),” and that three of the properties – his current home, purchased in 2016, his former home which he still owns, and his mother’s home – would be added to an amended disclosure form by May 15. He said the two remaining properties were rentals that “should have been transferred” to his LLC on December 31, 2014.
“The attorney has paperwork to show that,” he said. “We’re getting that taken care of.”