I read with interest the N&R’s write up on former Piedmont Triad Partnership CEO David Powell, who in 2016 was charged with two felony counts each of embezzlement and for obtaining property worth a total of $240,000 by false pretense. Turns out Powell had fled to Wilmington, changed his name “Finley” Powell and embarked on a business venture with his father.

The N&R write-up was in the Sunday print edition, and when on Monday morning I heard WFDD mention Powell’s name, I thought they were just rehashing the N&R’s work, which they often do. Imagine the surprise when they reported Powell had committed suicide.

Apparently Powell killed himself on Saturday, before the N&R article ran, but his father Orville was quoted in the article so he had to have known so he had to have known the write-up was in the queue. I’d hate to think the exposure is what drove Powell to kill himself. By the same token, the nightclub venture Powell was entering into –which was financed by his father—involved the purchase of the former “Ziggy’s By the Sea,” which was owned by Charles Womack, publisher of the Triad newspaper Yes! Weekly. If you’re trying to disappear and reinvent yourself, doing business with someone from the roots of your troubles is a strange way to go about it.

Powell’s attorney Locke Clifford cited depression as the reason for Powell’s legal troubles and suicide. Obviously I’m no expert–all I know is Powell was still going to have to answer for his alleged crimes no matter if he lived in Greensboro or Wilmington, or whether his first name was David or Finley.