Policing one’s own party is a jagged double-edged sword as one conservative political consultant in Wake County is finding out.
Before we go on a short walking tour, let’s stop for some context.
Current Wake GOP Chairman Charles Hellwig decided he was not going to run for another term. That announcement threw the doors open for various members to take a shot and the candidates currently in the hunt include Darren Eustance and Kim Coley.
Candidates do research or hire someone to do it for them. What started as a routine Google search for one consultant ended up becoming a serious issue.
When Mark Ivey, owner of Red Shirt Research, started poking around candidates considering a run for the Wake County GOP Chairmanship, things escalated quickly.
Ivey’s research on Coley yielded some eyebrow-raising information regarding a lawsuit brought by Direct TV against Coley’s husband Randy and his company It’s Thunder Time LLC. Kim Coley was also named in the suit as Kimberli Coley, a/k/a Kimberly Coly.
“She pulled a Laura Riddick,” Ivey said. “We simply have got to do a better job at policing our own.”
“I couldn’t believe what I was reading and that no one seemed to be aware of it,” said Ivey. “I was shocked and a bit angry.”
What came as a shock to Ivey may become a teachable moment for the Wake GOP.
Heading into 2020, the Wake Democrats could surely use this kind of information as political ammunition both against the Wake GOP and the NC GOP.
I reached out to Kim Coley for comment and she said this had “been going on for years” and she had been transparent about it when she was a candidate for Wake Commissioner.
“I was very transparent with everybody and Darren (Eustance) was part of the candidate committee forum that I told all of this to,” Coley said.
“Despite what Kim claimed, and despite it being my job to vet our own candidates on the candidate recruitment committee, I have never been asked to vet her or look into her,” Darren Eustance said in an email sent to this blog after the publication of this article.
Despite being named in the suit, Coley said she had nothing to do with the Direct TV suit and she was not involved.
I had nothing to do with this, ” said Coley. “I have nothing to do with it other than name association and being married. And that needs to be said.”
But it is what it is,” said Coley. “It’s business and there was a disagreement, there was a judgment and it happened in Virginia. And my husband didn’t like the judgment and so he appealed it and they didn’t see it his way either.”
“But there’s more to it than that but it’s not worth it because what you have in black and white, no matter what has really gone on behind the scenes…”Coley trailed off as her husband’s voice was heard in the background.
“Yeah, my husband’s going ‘honey, you don’t know because you weren’t there’ and he’s right,” said Coley. “I don’t know. And so it’s not me. I was taken out of the whole thing.”
Sky Cable / Direct TV v. Coley
In 2013, a district court ruling was handed down against Randy Coley who was being sued in Virginia by Sky Cable, a distributor of Direct TV.
The judgment against Randy Coley held that in 2000 he had used a now-defunct business called East Coast Cablevision, LLC (ECC) to distribute Direct TV to the 2,500 units at the Massanutten Resort in Virginia while only paying 168 Direct TV subscriptions.
The court ordered Coley to pay $2.39 million, but he told the court that he didn’t have the money.
The plaintiffs then filed a motion for a ‘reverse piercing the veil‘ which sounds macabre, but it’s not that complicated. Basically, the plaintiffs are asking the court to go through the individual to get to the assets of the corporation to get at assets to pay a settlement.
The reverse veil piercing was granted. And that’s not an easy thing to get.
In an attempt to fight the veil piercing, Randy and Kim Coley appeared to have changed their statements made under oath regarding her level of ownership in It’s Thunder Time LLC.
Initially, both had claimed that she had zero ownership in the company and Kim Coley was dropped from the suit.
In 2012, Kim Coley submitted a sworn statement that she was not a part of It’s Thunder Time. The statement asserted that she was not and have never been involved “as an owner, member, stockholder, director, officer, partner, agent, or employee of any entity associated with my husband’s work.”
After Direct TV asked for the veil piercing, both claimed that she had a 50% ownership role in the company.
Kim Coley then filed a suit against Randy Coley and Thunder Time in North Carolina to establish her 50% ownership claim by asserting she had “exchanged her property interest for a 50% Membership Interest in Thundertime.”
This attempt to shield assets failed and Gregory P. McGuire Special Superior Court Judge upheld Direct TV’s request for dismissal.
“Equally significant, however, is that the question of whether Kimberli has an
interest in Thundertime has been placed squarely in front of the court in the Virginia Action,” wrote Judge McGuire in the ruling.
“That action has been pending for more than five years, and significant evidence regarding Kimberli’s ownership and involvement in Thundertime has been presented, including what now appears to be Kimberli’s and Randy’s complete about-face on the question,” Judge McGuire wrote.
A Complaint to Avoid Transfer filed in November of 2018 by Chapter 7 Trustee Richard Sparkman alleges the Coley’s “lied” about the involvement of Kim Coley in her husband’s business.
In reverse piercing the veil, it was discovered that Randy Coley owned three corporate entities and had been shifting money and assets back and forth between them.
Record filed at the North Carolina Secretary of State shows that Randy Powhatan (Randolph) Coley is the registered agent of three LLC’s.
- East Coast Sales LLC – Dissolved 9-12-14
- It’s Thunder Time LLC – Dissolved 9-13-14
- South Raleigh Air LLC – Dissolved 2-05-15
The two entities involved in the Direct TV lawsuit were dissolved within one day of each other.
South Raleigh was dissolved by the Secretary of State for non-compliance in filing an annual report. It’s Thunder Time filed annual reports stating the nature of the business is “real estate.”
Both the investment group and trailer authority list Randy, Kim and their son Seth as members of the organization.
Kim Coley also may have some corporations listed under her name.
Various iterations of the name Kim Coley are listed by the NC Secretary of State as the registered agent of three LLC’s:
- Coley Investment Group LLC – Still active in 2018
- Coley Graphics LLC – Dissolved 2-28-18
- Trailer Authority LLC – Still active in 2018
Coley Graphics was dissolved by the Secretary of State for non-compliance in filing an annual report.
In my conversation with Kim Coley, she brought up Coley Graphics on her own and denied it belonged to her.
“If you go looking in that, I have no part. It’s not my name,” Coley said.
Records show that original filing was made by Eleanor B. Bibb, a Real Estate Attorney whose law practice address is the same as Coley Graphics.
Coley Graphics was dissolved by the NC Secretary of state for failing to file an annual corporate report and the notice was sent to the attention of “Kimberly Coley.”
According to records at the NC Secretary of State, there are three aliases on record when one searches for ‘Kim Coley’: Kimberli M. Coley, Kimberli Coley, and Kimberly Coley.
In my interview with Kim Coley, she denied these were aliases. According to her voter registration, Kim Coley is registered as Kimberli Dawn Coley.
“They just pulled up something with Coley’s and they labeled that ‘Kim Coley has aliases’,” said Kim Coley. Kim Coley… Kim M. Coley… and Kimberly – K-i-m-b-e-r-l-y Coley. It’s not an alias, someone misspelled my name and I had to correct it.”
When asked about a recent bankruptcy filing or if there were any updates case, Coley there wasn’t.
“There is no update,” Coley said. “There is no further update as of yet.”
A very concise summary of the Sky Cable/Direct TV v. Coley case can be found at Leagle.com.
Some of the filings history related to the It’s Thunder Time case can be found at Pacer, but viewing the documents requires a subscription.
Update: Federal judge deems Wake candidate, husband ‘not credible’ in satellite TV bankruptcy case (WRAL, 2/21/2020)