Bob Luddy, a conservative politico responsible for nearly eliminating the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, resigned from the board today, according to an email obtained by the INDY.
Luddy, who served with Art Pope, now the state deputy budget director, is on the board of the ultraconservative Civitas Institute. The institute is funded by the Pope Foundation—which until earlier this year, was run by Art Pope—(yes, you need a flow chart). Luddy embarked on an investigation that resulted in the dismantlement of the center.
Billy Ray Hall, president of the Rural Center, resigned, and Gov. Pat McCrory, via Pope, froze the organization's assets. A transition team is in place to move most of the center's operations—helping economically distressed rural communities—under the Commerce Department.
Rural Center supporters have speculated that Luddy's probe into the Rural Center was politically motivated—the organization had long been derided by conservatives— and that his findings, and that of the state auditor, did not indicate malice or corruption by the center's leadership. Among those findings were Hall's executive pay—$250,000 after 25 years of service—and a lack of grant monitoring.