But public documents tell another story.
Last week Republican Dennis Benfield of Caldwell County wrote in the Hickory Daily Record that McHenry owned property which he did not list on his legally required financial disclosure statements.
And at the Lincoln County town hall, a 70-something woman named Farrie Blackburn politely asked McHenry about it. After a long stunned moment, McHenry said there wasn't a "word of truth in that article." She said she was sure that the figures were accurate, that she knew the author. Pat then required that all questions be submitted first in writing.
Below you'll see a segment of the Catawba County assessment for the property, linked here. Also below you can see the page of assets from his 2006 report linked here. It's owned by McHenry and it just ain't listed in his report.
And in blue map above you can see land layout (it's a condo so he owns only a fraction of this parcel of property.
In the assessment from January 1, 2007 there are other assessments going back to 1997. Even if they were under a previous owner, I'm going to go ahead and assume he owned it December 31, 2006, which makes it omitted from the 2006 financial disclosure documents filed May 15, 2007.
UPDATE: Thanks to Greg Flynn at BlueNC whose computer obviously is more patient with the Catawba County Register of Deeds, here are the facts from their website:
The condo was put up for sale Monday February 28th 2005 "at public auction at the Catawba County Courthouse door, when and where Patrick T. McHenry became the last and highest bidder for the said land at the price of $139,949.25". The deed is dated April 27th, 2005. The "mail to":" address listed for Patrick T. McHenry is C/O Williams Law Firm, Hickory. The related Deed of Trust was not signed by McHenry personally but by Jason J. Deans with Power of Attorney. However the POA on record does bear his signature with the characteristic flourish. The borrowed amount is $132,950. The current tax value is $143,300
I have to say it sure makes me wonder if he didn't acquire it as the Lay investigation heated up! I've seen those CSI shows where trace evidence of who knows what shows up years after the alleged misconduct . . .
But back to the numbers, you know, hard facts.
For the year 2006, McHenry reported these figures: from $342,000 to 930,000 in assets, from $160,000 to 365,000 in debts, and from $33,300 to 100,000 in income outside his Congressional salary. So, his self-reported net worth was $177,000 to 565,000. That makes the $140,000 condo somewhat of a significant oversight.
For 2004, he reported assets from 250,000 to 755,000, debts from $50,000 to 100,000 with income from assets of $206 to $16,200 and his former state legislator income of $20, 658. Don't trust my addition. Here are the documents.
Posted at BlueNC and Scru Hoo.