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Archive for September, 2009

NC DMV agrees to rehire fired whistle-blower

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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RALEIGH — A North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles whistle-blower who reported on agency wrongdoing is getting his job back under a legal settlement signed this week.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday that Ken Cassidy was fired from his job as an assistant supervisor in the DMV’s License and Theft Bureau in March 2008. He was accused of violating an order not to talk to any DMV employees in the emissions program.

Cassidy had told the newspaper months earlier about improper hiring and that some emissions staff had so little work to do that they finished by lunchtime.

Cassidy appealed his dismissal and under a settlement signed Wednesday he will get his job back along with more than $77,000 in back pay.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles whistle-blower who reported on agency wrongdoing is getting his job back under a legal settlement signed this week.

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Governor Perdue vetoes first bill

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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Governor Bev Perdue vetoed her first bill Thursday. House Bill 104 is “an act to clarify legislative confidentiality.” It would have made some public records private.

Perdue said the changes are not in line with her goals of transparency and accountability.

She must now call a special session by September 20th to give the legislature a chance to override the veto, unless a majority of each House says the session is unnecessary.

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Governor Bev Perdue vetoed her first bill Thursday. House Bill 104 is “an act to clarify legislative confidentiality.” It would have made some public records private.

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Ex-political candidate pleads guilty to fraud

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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GREENVILLE, N.C. — A former candidate for North Carolina elected office has pleaded guilty to fraud after federal authorities said he took more than $1 million from two elderly clients over three years.

Documents show a magistrate judge accepted an agreement Wednesday involving Christopher Brooks Mintz, who pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by an investment adviser. He faces a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine. Sentencing is Dec. 7.

Mintz ran unsuccessfully in 2008 as a Democrat for the state Senate in Wake County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Mintz worked in Cary and represented a Massachusetts-based broker. The government said he embezzled money by shifting securities to his brokerage account and selling them.

Mintz also has agreed to pay restitution of $1.2 million.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A former candidate for North Carolina elected office has pleaded guilty to fraud after federal authorities said he took more than $1 million from two elderly clients over three years.

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Associated poll

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NC Sheriff: Men made up story about fireworks

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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RAEFORD, N.C. — North Carolina authorities say two men burned after a lit firecracker dropped inside the truck they were riding in initially made up a story about being attacked with the explosive.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Friday that while the extent of their injuries was unknown, Alex Christman required treatment at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Thursday the two men initially reported they were attacked in the Sept. 5 incident but had made up the story.

Sheriff’s deputies say Christman lit the fuse of a firecracker he intended to toss out the window. It dropped to the floor of the truck and the vehicle caught fire.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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North Carolina authorities say two men burned after a lit firecracker dropped inside the truck they were riding in initially made up a story about being attacked with the explosive.

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NC experts: Millions of fish probably suffocated

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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NEW BERN, N.C. — Experts say millions of fish found dead in the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina probably suffocated.

Multiple media outlets reported more than 2 million fish have died in the river in the past week.

Test results are expected next week. But experts say it appears low-oxygen saltwater along the river bottom mixed with the upper layers of fresh water.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Science in Morehead City have been measuring oxygen levels along the bottom of the river. Professor Hans Paerl says conditions were “ripe for a fish kill.”

He says high winds and recent storms helped stir the water.

Paerl says tests have found no conditions other than low oxygen that could have killed the fish, mostly Atlantic menhaden.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Experts say millions of fish found dead in the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina probably suffocated.

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