Steinburg assistant charged with embezzlement


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, May 25, 2018

State Rep. Bob Steinburg's legislative assistant has been indicted on felony embezzlement charges for her work for an Outer Banks restaurant unconnected to her duties with the state lawmaker.

District Attorney Andrew Womble confirmed Thursday that a grand jury indicted Diana London Monday on an embezzlement charge connected to her employment at Pigman's Bar-B-Que in Kill Devil Hills.

Womble’s office declined to detail the offense and the Dare County Clerk of Court office did not respond Thursday to repeated requests for a copy of the indictment.

Womble also said Steinburg, R-Chowan, is not involved in the case, and the offense predates her work for him.

An employee at Pigman's said Thursday that London worked for the restaurant last year.

London's defense attorney, Kris Felthousen of Kill Devil Hills, declined to comment Thursday when asked about the embezzlement charge.

Steinburg could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. 

London succeeded Bethany Hudson as Steinburg's legislative assistant, and has also worked as a consultant for Steinburg's campaign for Senate District 1. Campaign finance reports show Key Stage, not London, has served as Steinburg’s campaign treasurer.

In a separate matter, London is also involved in an ethics complaint filed by Pasquotank County resident Bill Lehmann against Steinburg.

Lehmann, a supporter of Steinburg's GOP primary opponent, Clark Twiddy, alleges that Steinburg has inappropriately used London for both official and campaign-related activities.

Steinburg has denied that claim, arguing he sets London's schedule and delineates between her legislative and campaign activities. He's also paid London for her consulting work, he's noted.

Paul Coble, a Legislative Services officer, said in an email Thursday that Lehmann's complaint has been forwarded to the Legislative Ethics Committee chaired by Rep. John Faircloth, R-Guilford, and Sen. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover.

Womble's office confirmed that London’s first administrative appearance in court will likely be in late June.