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Re: “You Can Now Go Drink at RDU on Sunday Mornings

Being able to buy alcohol while I do grocery shopping will save me a trip (I always shop for groceries on Sunday morning). I like this idea.

Posted by ammi on 09/05/2017 at 12:55 PM

Re: “People's Alliance Makes Durham Municipal Election Endorsements

And what makes it even more strange that support for Rooks over-ruled the PA leadership's recommendation to members is a reading of Rooks' questionnaire in which he refuses to share which president, governor or US senate candidates he supported in 2012, 2014 or 2016. Other candidates had no trouble with this question.(link in last paragraph of article above) Further he says he wouldn't vote to raise taxes to pay for park improvements, doesn't think rail is important now for Durham and doesn't take sides on recent rezoning cases when asked to do so. Those do not qualify as progressive stances.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Hyman on 09/04/2017 at 9:02 PM

Re: “People's Alliance Makes Durham Municipal Election Endorsements

The PA meeting was packed by supporters of Rooks. Without that the organization would have endorsed Middleton, who has won victories for working people by collaborating with PA and Durham CAN for years. This campaign is in danger of becoming a referendum on who claims to care the most. But progressives should support the candidates who can do the most.
Frank Hyman
former council member and policy analyst for Blue Collar Comeback

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Hyman on 09/04/2017 at 7:37 PM

Re: “DSI Comedy Will Close August 28, Zach Ward Says

Who owns this building at 462 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514? I'd like to contact the owner.

Posted by Nimbus Cloud on 09/02/2017 at 9:50 PM

Re: “External Auditors Confirm $2.3M Missing at Wake Register of Deeds Office, Cite Neglectful Management

The key finding by Wake County's outside auditor, released over a holiday weekend:

"It is the responsibility of the County to establish internal controls over the revenue recorded within the systems and cash collected by the ROD. It is also the County's responsibility to monitor internal controls established over these areas to provide reasonable assurance that revenue is being accurately recorded and that all cash generated by ROD activities is being properly deposited to the County's bank accounts."

So who had that responsibility since 2008? Please tell us, IndyWeek. Or NandO. Or WRAL. Or...

(This does not excuse or defend anyone who stole public money. But it's importantly relevant.)

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 09/02/2017 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

UPDATE: Wake County's external auditor has officially weighed in...

"It is the responsibility of the County to establish internal controls over the revenue recorded within the systems and cash collected by the ROD. It is also the County's responsibility to monitor internal controls established over these areas to provide reasonable assurance that revenue is being accurately recorded and that all cash generated by ROD activities is being properly deposited to the County's bank accounts."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 09/02/2017 at 8:03 AM

Re: “You Can Now Go Drink at RDU on Sunday Mornings

Alcohol at 10:00 AM on any day will make alcoholics happy.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by alberthall on 09/01/2017 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Silent Sam Protesters Are Taking a Break, But Vow They'll Be Back

Silent Sam has always been a popular place on this original campus lawn for students to gather. This is a beautiful place at UNC, the oldest public university in our nation. A little further down from Sam is the old stone wall, another popular place to sit in the evenings for people watching.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by alberthall on 09/01/2017 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Nancy McFarlane Signs On to National Climate Mayors Agreement

Are the 13 NC mayors Republicans or Democrats? Will you please supply the breakdown? Thanks.

Posted by alberthall on 09/01/2017 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

JohnNC: I hate to sound like Hiilary Clinton -- and the statute's purpose and meaning are clear -- but the County's 266-page "Proof of Loss" filing includes zero evidence of any audit of the Register of Deeds accounts. Had they been audited properly each year, no ongoing thefts could have occurred.

The PoL filing does include this relevant question and answer:

Q: "Does your company have an Internal Audit Department? If yes, how long has it been
operating? What involvement does the outside accountant have in the internal audit
function? Did the internal audit department perform any reviews involving the area in which
the embezzlement occurred?"

A: "Yes, Wake County has had an Internal Audit function, or Quality Assurance Office, since
2000. The current director was hired on November 7, 2007. Internal Audit works
collaboratively with the external auditors on the audit and on other projects as well.
Beginning in December of 2014, Internal Audit performed a series of ten cash receipt
reviews across the county, although none within the Register of Deeds office."

That pretty well settles it. Though, again, that doesn't justify any thefts.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 08/31/2017 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

CT: Well, good Heavens, no. That's Gala apples and navel oranges.

The District Attorney, District Court, and Superior court are arms of the state, as you well know.

The staff of the Register of Deeds office, on the other hand, has their salaries set by the County, receive County paychecks, receive County benefits, are subject to County HR policies, park in County parking spaces, count toward the County employment headcount, are accounted for in the County budget, etc.

Good luck classifying them as non-County workers.

Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 08/31/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

"The accounts of such an officer or employee shall be audited at least annually."

I hate to sound like Bill Clinton, Leanne, but the import of that sentence depends on what the definition of audit is.

The accounts were audited at least annually. But there are audits of accounts and there are fraud audits. We need to make clear that the fraud audits can occur when required by the County, regardless of whether the head of the agency is elected. The Sheriff, as a policy, invites the county and its external auditors in to do deep dive audits. The Register of Deeds, as a matter of longstanding policy stretching back over several County Managers, did not.

The upcoming Memorandum of Understanding between the County and the Register of Deeds office will address that issue, as well as other cash management policy questions, to bring the ROD in line with the other County offices and establish a clear line of authority where there wasn't one before.

And the DA and SBI will tell us who the evidence shows was responsible for the actual theft, and they will, I have no doubt, be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by JohnNC on 08/31/2017 at 7:09 PM

Re: “UNC Chancellor Turns Down Speaking Request from Richard Spencer

As a person who was around during the 'speaker ban' years, I find I am concerned this is the same thing, though the targets now are certainly very consistent with Jessie Helms and his "View Points" back then. Spencer demonstrably believes and aggressively promotes falsely based despicable views but I believe the way to challenge such views is to expose them to the light. Like scum on a cow pond, aeration in the light and heat of the sun will wipe them out.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kate Sterling on 08/31/2017 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

By your same logic, the county finance officer should be able to audit the office of the DA, the offices of District Court and Superior Court judges, etc. Good luck with that.

Posted by ct on 08/31/2017 at 3:24 PM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

CT: Respectfully, that's a red herring. The Register of Deeds is part of local government.

If you read all of NCGS Chapter 159 (Local Government Finance), you will see that 159-32 is in Part 3, Fiscal Control.

159-25, which is part of that section, says the county finance officer must, among other duties:

-- "Keep the accounts of local government or public authority in accordance with generally accepted principles of governmental accounting..."

-- "Supervise the receipt and deposit of money by *other duly authorized officers* or employees."

Then 159-32 says:

"The [County] finance officer may at any time audit the accounts of *any officer* or employee collecting or receiving taxes or other moneys, and may prescribe the form and detail of these accounts. The accounts of *such an officer* or employee shall be audited at least annually."

The Register is an elected local government officer who collects revenue, and the county finance officer had a legal duty to audit that office at least once a year, which Wake County never did.

Again, the county's failure does not justify or excuse anyone's stealing money. But it's real.

And of course now they say they'll start doing the required audits.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 08/31/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “UNC Chancellor Turns Down Speaking Request from Richard Spencer

The extremists have already caused death and injury. There isn't any cause on their part. They are terrorists.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ml Hayes on 08/31/2017 at 10:06 AM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

159-32 is part of 159 Article 3 that deals with "local government". Read the definition of "local government" in 159-7(b)(15) and you'll see why there is doubt that 159 Article 3 is applicable to a Register of Deeds who is not part of local government (161). The rest of 159-32 that you didn't mention is written in the context of local government.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by ct on 08/31/2017 at 9:07 AM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

Perhaps the County's failure to do timely audits was purposeful, as if the theft ring involves a lot more County employees in other areas than can be found-yet. Yeah, if I knew that the noose was tightening around my neck due to my life of crime, I'd be retiring due to "poor health" too.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Richard Langellotti on 08/31/2017 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Wake Schools Officials Say Millions Still Needed in Current Funding; Commission Chair Rules Out Changes Outside Budget Cycle

If this stuff keeps up, it will be wise to sell whatever homes you have in Wake County before it becomes common knowledge that the schools are underfunded, and that will cause property values to drop. Of course, the realtors, who are professional liars, will continue to lie to prospective home buyers, so the effect will take a long time to happen.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Richard Langellotti on 08/31/2017 at 8:54 AM

Re: “Wake County Says $2.3 Million Went Missing from the Register of Deeds Office Between 2008 and 2017

This is no defense of Riddick, Ellis, or any of the others who stole from Wake County's Register of Deeds, but IndyWeek is right to point out the County's inexplicable failure ever to audit the office, as state law has long required at least once a year.

From NCGS 159-32:

"The [County] finance officer may at any time audit the accounts of any officer or employee collecting or receiving taxes or other moneys, and may prescribe the form and detail of these accounts. The accounts of such an officer or employee shall be audited at least annually."

That's *SHALL* be -- not *may* be.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 08/30/2017 at 3:28 PM

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