But copies of checks show the relationship includes buying as well.
The board paid more than $11 million to Diageo Americas from January to November, according to documents obtained by WCNC, the Observer's news partner.
The state Alcohol Law Enforcement Division is investigating a $9,000 Nov. 18 dinner for 28 people, including ABC officials, paid for by London-based Diageo, which makes brands such as Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch.
Last week, Helms announced that he and other top staff paid back the cost of the meal at Del Frisco's steakhouse in south Charlotte. The board at that time also released its statement describing the relationship between the agency and Diageo.
- Doug Miller