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NC lawmakers ask for bills after center report

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State lawmakers want more restrictions on how public money is distributed to nonprofits and accounted for in light of critical reviews of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

The panel overseeing the legislature’s government watchdog organization asked agency staff Monday to draw up draft legislation likely debated next year. The recommendation followed State Auditor Beth Wood’s presentation on last month’s audit on the center.

The audit found grant reporting requirements weren’t carried out, job creation measures for grant recipients failed to be verified and pay of then-President Billy Ray Hall was unreasonable.

Panel members sounded most unhappy with $20 million the center collected in interest from unspent state funds. Wood says there are no rules on whether the state or nonprofit gets the interest sitting in private bank accounts.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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