Wendell Fant, who until last month was Kissell's deputy district director, said in an interview he did use his U.S. House e-mail account to check on his own Veterans Affairs matter and get information about a mortgage loan modification.
, a Marine Corps reservist scheduled to retire in August, said he
didn't seek or expect any special advantage as Kissell's
staff member over treatment for an illness while he
was in the military.
said the loan modification with Wells Fargo
had already been completed when he
contacted the company.
"I did err in using the House e-mail," Fant
said, but "I certainly wasn't trying to get any gain from anything."
is the focus of a union-led movement trying to get him on the ballot as an independent candidate to challenge Kissell
, a first-term Democrat representing North Carolina's 8th District stretching from Charlotte east to Fort Bragg.
North Carolina Families First turned in more than 35,000 signatures before the deadline Thursday to qualify Fant
Group leaders approached him last month, a few days after he
resigned from his
"I'm certainly flattered by that effort," said Fant
, 42, of Concord.
County election boards are now reviewing the signatures.
The group will know in two weeks whether it exceeded the 16,929 signatures from registered voters needed to qualify Fant
as a candidate.
hasn't yet committed to taking on his
Fant said Kissell never confronted him on the accusation about his Veterans Affairs case and treated him differently from another staff member who was seeking similar help about a VA issue.
, who ran unsuccessfully for the Cabarrus County commission
in 2008, knocked on voters' doors with Kissell
when the congressman first ran for the House seat and defeated GOP incumbent Robin Hayes.
Kissell hired Fant in January 2009.
I'm still hurt," Fant
"I do feel betrayed."
Kissell's complaint also alleged Fant failed to report that he was working on the side as a recruiter for a mortgage marketing company.
said Friday he
never made income as a recruiter and worked only briefly to help a cousin involved in the company.
"This is the civil rights movement of our generation and he
chose to move in the opposite direction," Fant