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>>

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Week of protests to wrap up at NC Capitol

    Week of protests to wrap up at NC Capitol

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:13:38 GMT
    A coalition led by North Carolina's NAACP is wrapping up a week of demonstrations at the state capitol with a rally for voting rights.
    A coalition led by North Carolina's NAACP is wrapping up a week of demonstrations at the state capitol with a rally for voting rights.
  • Tillis to highlight NC teacher raises in TV ad

    Tillis to highlight NC teacher raises in TV ad

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:11:43 GMT
    House Speaker Thom Tillis will highlight teacher pay raises approved by the North Carolina legislature this year in a television ad to first air on the eve of his first U.S. Senate debate with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
    House Speaker Thom Tillis will highlight teacher pay raises approved by the North Carolina legislature this year in a television ad to first air on the eve of his first U.S. Senate debate with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
  • Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes

    Radio ads praise NC lawmakers for fracking votes

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:44 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:44:36 GMT
    The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach.
    The energy industry is thanking several North Carolina lawmakers who supported fracking legislation with radio ads in their districts as elections approach.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • 2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    2 Dead After Shooting On Laurens Rd. In Greenville Co.

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:33:58 GMT
    Shooting under investigation in Greenville County.Shooting under investigation in Greenville County.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is looking into a deadly shooting off Laurens Road.We're told two people are dead.The call came at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.The Sheriff's office isn't releasing any more details at this time.It happen on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard at the Hollingsworth textile facility.Investigators are on the scene. Deputies have also set up a command center.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is looking into a deadly shooting off Laurens Road.We're told two people are dead.The call came at 3:36 a.m. Friday morning.The Sheriff's office isn't releasing any more details at this time.It happen on Laurens Road near Millennium Boulevard at the Hollingsworth textile facility.Investigators are on the scene. Deputies have also set up a command center.

  • NC Apple Fest Kicks Off In Downtown Hendersonville

    NC Apple Fest Kicks Off In Downtown Hendersonville

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:25 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:25:58 GMT
    Apple Festival kicks off in Hendersonville.Apple Festival kicks off in Hendersonville.
    From the NC Apple Festival website:The 2014 NC Apple Festival kicks off Friday in downtown Hendersonville, NC.The Main Street event run through the weekend of August 29- September 1.The festival not only features a street fair with arts crafts vendors but it includes continuous live musical entertainment, apple growers and their apples, children's youth activities, special exhibits open houses, food, and, to top it all off, on Labor Day, the King Apple Parade...
    From the NC Apple Festival website:The 2014 NC Apple Festival kicks off Friday in downtown Hendersonville, NC.The Main Street event run through the weekend of August 29- September 1.The festival not only features a street fair with arts crafts vendors but it includes continuous live musical entertainment, apple growers and their apples, children's youth activities, special exhibits open houses, food, and, to top it all off, on Labor Day, the King Apple Parade...
  • Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:52:41 GMT
    Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
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.