WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The North Carolina Treasurer’s Local Government Commission now has its eyes on Martin County and wants answers.
This comes after a lawsuit over outgoing County Manager James Bennett’s pay raises and other complaints. Bennett remains in the position through October after turning in his resignation on September 28.
“What alerted us is a notification that a lawsuit had been filed trying to put more sunshine on these transactions and after looking at the lawsuit, we came to the conclusion a lot of this was avoidable,” Treasurer Dale Folwell said.
Bennett’s pay raises have been the topic of a few commissioner meetings. Now officials at the state level want answers to those questions too.
“You have a loyalty to actually do things that follow a certain process when it comes to pay raises,” Folwell said. “It’s our responsibility to figure out what’s right, get it right, and keep it right.”
Folwell says the LGC, which he is the chair, will look into those pay raises, internal controls and processes to see whether or not they were violated. The LGC oversees the finances of more than 1,200 local governments across North Carolina. Folwell said the commission has the ability to ask questions about competence, transparency, and conflicts of interest.
“I have sent an email to the head of the Local Government Commission and asked her to design a letter sent to Martin County asking them the questions they want to ask,” Folwell said. “We’re gonna be looking at internal controls and processes to see whether or not they were violated.”
Folwell says the LGC expects an accurate and timely response from Martin County.