"My name is Kevin Helms and I have been employed by Mecklenburg County ABC Board for 19 years..."
So begins a letter addressed to a Jim Beam representative from a warehouse manager for the Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
Helms went on to ask that the Kentucky bourbon maker offer him financial support to "allow me to follow my dream of becoming a professional bass angler."
Click here to read the full letter.
Jim Beam agreed to the sponsorship offer.
In exchange for $3,200 in tournament entry fees and expenses over the past three years, Helms has worn a jersey and hat emblazoned with the Jim Beam logo and put logos on his boat.
Calvin McDougal, chief executive officer of the Mecklenburg ABC board, had approved the sponsorship, but he revoked it Thursday after inquiries from the Observer.
The sponsorship is one of several instances that raise questions about the board's relationship with vendors and other organizations with which it does business.
Board Chair Parks Helms announced this week that he, McDougal and other board employees have repaid $9,000 to international distiller Diageo for the dinner the company provided for Helms, his wife and 26 board employees and spouses last month.
Click here for the full Observer story.
- Doug Miller