NC Rural Center board freezes severance to former president - WSPA.com

NC Rural Center board freezes severance to former president

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The board of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center decided Monday to freeze the severance of former president Billy Ray Hall.

Hall resigned under pressure earlier this month. His severance package amounts to more than $240,000.

Despite calls for Chairwoman Valeria Lee's resignation from board members and Gov. Pat McCrory, Lee said she has no immediate plans to step down.

"I am still chair ... I do not know that I have to step down," Lee said.

State legislators have defunded the center and created a new division within the Department of Commerce to handle the work of the Rural Center after a blistering report by the State Auditor released earlier this month outlined the misuse of state funds.

"I think they probably did what they think is in the best interest of rural North Carolina. Whether I agree with it or not is not something I need to express an opinion on," Lee said.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker was a guest speaker at Monday's board meeting.

"I'm here today, yes, as commerce secretary but as a resident of rural North Carolina with great passion for the rural parts of our state," Decker said. "We find ourselves in a place of transition and we need to move forward in a different way."

The details of the transition will be ironed out over the next 30 days, but Decker said the Commerce Department and the Rural Center will try to honor grants that have already been awarded.

"What you're not going to see is less support for rural North Carolina. I think you'll see more support for rural North Carolina. How that looks and how that's executed, I can't tell you right now," Decker said.

The board voted to form a special committee of five members of the board, including appointed and elected members, to determine how the center should move forward. The committee will also meet with the appropriate governmental officials to negotiate and approve a plan to transfer the state funds to the appropriate state governmental agencies.

Lee will appoint the five-person committee.

"The governor asked [Lee] to resign, and now she is going to appoint the people who determine the future of the center. I think that's a very bad idea," said board member Bob Luddy, who was the only opposing vote.

The committee is expected to make a recommendation to the full board whether the center should begin the process of dissolution at next month's board meeting.

RELATED STORIES

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:15:36 GMT
    Officers roped off the scene on Union BlvdOfficers roped off the scene on Union Blvd
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were at the scene of a home on Union Blvd Tuesday night investigating a missing person case.
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were at the scene of a home on Union Blvd Tuesday night investigating a missing person case.
  • Bass Pro Shops Considering Spartanburg Co., Sources Tell Paper

    Bass Pro Shops Considering Spartanburg Co., Sources Tell Paper

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:30:59 GMT
    Sources tell our coverage partners at the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Bass Pro Shops is considering building near the BMW facility at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 85.
    Sources tell our coverage partners at the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Bass Pro Shops is considering building near the BMW facility at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 85.
  • 11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging"

    11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging"

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:03:25 GMT
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging.
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. Schools are measured by how well they prepare their students for college level work. 8 Greenville County schools made the list. Greenville's Southside High School earned the number 2 spot in the state and 189 on a national list of more than 2000. 2 Spartanburg County schools also made the list....
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. Schools are measured by how well they prepare their students for college level work. 8 Greenville County schools made the list. Greenville's Southside High School earned the number 2 spot in the state and 189 on a national list of more than 2000. 2 Spartanburg County schools also made the list....
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.