Carolina Journal’s Barry Smith reports on $20 million in interest the state evidently has no way of getting back from the Rural Center.
The interest is “still with the Rural Economic Development Center,” Wood, a Democrat, told the committee regarding the interest income. “The definition of monies that belong to the state are basically any monies that are on deposit with the state treasurer’s office, and these monies where the interest was earned [were] deposited in a private bank.”
Wood went on to say that state law is silent on dealing with the interest, and the funds “were put in a private bank. And so the two of those items makes it pretty much difficult for the state of North Carolina to get it back.”
Wood reported to the committee on an audit released in July that assailed the Rural Center for the interest account, failing to monitor grants to ensure that their requirements were fulfilled, lax reporting standards, and excessive compensation for its president, Billy Ray Hall.