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State officials may seek to recoup NC center funds

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration says it’s suspended giving state money to the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and directed center officials to halt distributing state funds to grant recipients.

State Budget Director Art Pope also told N.C. Rural Center leaders Thursday the state was considering recouping potentially more than $100 million held by the center in the light of a stinging state audit issued the day before. Center President Billy Ray Hall announced his retirement Thursday.

Pope wrote separately to legislators who are determining how much money to give to the center in the two-year budget being negotiated. He says it appears the center may have tried to conceal the audit until after the final budget was completed.

Center officials didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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