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>>

  • The New Look of Local News - Tonight At 5

    The New Look of Local News - Tonight At 5

    Tune in Thursday evening for the big reveal of our new news set. Watch at 5 p.m. to see what it looks like and what we can do with it. Then stay tuned throughout the night as we show it off.
    Tune in Thursday evening for the big reveal of our new news set. Watch at 5 p.m. to see what it looks like and what we can do with it. Then stay tuned throughout the night as we show it off.
  • Help Needed To Find Robert Price, Missing Easley Man

    Help Needed To Find Robert Price, Missing Easley Man

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:25:40 GMT
    Robert Moore PriceRobert Moore Price
    The Pickens County Sheriff's Office is asking for help to find a missing man from Easley. Robert Moore Price, 81, hasn't been heard from since a phone conversation around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when he advised a family member he was lost and might be at an unknown address in Georgia.
    The Pickens County Sheriff's Office is asking for help to find a missing man from Easley. Robert Moore Price, 81, hasn't been heard from since a phone conversation around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when he advised a family member he was lost and might be at an unknown address in Georgia.
  • VIDEO: Horse Carriage Crashes In Charleston Market

    VIDEO: Horse Carriage Crashes In Charleston Market

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:20:46 GMT
    The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on North Market Street and Anson Street.The incident happened at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on North Market Street and Anson Street.
    Police in Charleston released video showing an accident when a carriage horse was spooked and crashed in the downtown Market district. One pedestrian along with three people on the carriage suffered scrapes and bruises. Our sister station WCBD-TV reports the horse is all right.
    Police in Charleston released video showing an accident when a carriage horse was spooked and crashed in the downtown Market district. One pedestrian along with three people on the carriage suffered scrapes and bruises. Our sister station WCBD-TV reports the horse is all right.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
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.