Pete's Prep: Friday, April 13, 2018

Every Commissioner denies they took Greene's graft cards

Well, THIS is certainly an interesting development...

All five Buncombe commissioners in office at the time federal prosecutors say one of them used a county-purchased gift card to buy food, jewelry and flowers deny having anything to do with the spending.

Two of them also say they never received a county-issued credit card, and don't recall making expenses documented in county records.

A federal grand jury indictment charging former county manager Wanda Greene with embezzling public money and aiding and abetting embezzlement alleges that between December 2011 and November 2012 a then-serving commissioner used gift cards bought by Greene and her assistants. Those cards were used "to make purchases that were not for legitimate county purposes," the indictment says.

The commissioner is not named in court documents, but his or her Sam's Club membership card is tied to the use of county-purchased gift cards that paid for items such as beef tenderloin, roses and jewelry.

This latest story in the Citizen-Times makes it clear that former Commissioner Bill Stanley was the largest user of his county-funded credit card. He also appears to be the only Commissioner who was not called to testify before the federal grand jury - which might indicate he's a subject of the investigation.

NC hurricane victims hung out to dry

The latest WBTV report on Hurricane Matthew relief spending in North Carolina shows the administration has yet to spent any of the $236 million in grants from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A week before this story was to air on TV and be published online, WBTV asked both the North Carolina Governor’s Office and the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management for an on-camera interview so we could ask a state leader about the slow pace of recovery.

Julia Jarema, a spokeswoman for NCEM first said she was checking a schedule to possibly arrange such an interview but ultimately declined.

Instead, Jarema sent an email with talking points not responsive to any of WBTV’s questions but did say the state expects “the first participants to receive assistance next month.”

Neither Jarema nor a spokesman for Governor Roy Cooper’s office responded to a follow-up inquiry specifically asking about why the state had yet to spend any of the $236 million CDBG-DR grant money.

Meanwhile, the leftist ProgressNC has put up billboards down east blaming Trump for lack of hurricane funding.

Is Gov. Roy Cooper's administration holding the funds hostage in order to improve Democrats' election chances? (Perhaps his stenographers in the NC media could follow up on some of these WBTV reports.)

Normally, I'd never even think an elected official would do something like that. However, given Cooper's past efforts to generate support for an economic boycott of his own state over HB2, it's a question that should be asked.


Election 2018

Today is the last day to register to vote for the upcoming May 8 primary!


Rural health care to get a boost

North Carolina lawmakers are studying ways to improve access to health care in rural parts of the state. The Legislative Research Commission released its recommendations yesterday:


Diamond & Silk are Tar Heels?!

I had no idea! The famous Facebook duo - Diamond and Silk - are from Hoke County.

I'm embarrassed I didn't know this until today.

Well, good news for the NC natives -- Facebook said it made a mistake when it labeled their pro-Trump page "unsafe" for the community.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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