Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do you want to run for State Auditor?
My whole career has been one of service to the citizens of our country and more recently, to the people of North Carolina. Whether it was working as an FBI Special Agent or Chief Investigator for the State Board of Elections, I had a passion for public service and making sure our government was able to do its best for its citizens as laid out in our federal and state Constitutions. In those roles, I was responsible for white collar crime and corruption investigations, and uncovering voter fraud and other activities that erode the public’s faith in our electoral system.
When I retired from the FBI, I began looking for other areas where I could serve and started the process of considering elected office. The job of State Auditor appears to me to be a natural progression from my past jobs and I was encouraged to take my skills and experience and run for Auditor. I have been educated as both an accountant and a lawyer, and have the on-the-job investigative experience to take the State Auditor’s office to a new level of oversight and investigation in uncovering fraud and abuse in state government.
2. What does the State Auditor do?
I consider the State Auditor to be one of the most important positions in North Carolina’s state government. North Carolina’s General Statutes give the State Auditor broad powers to examine all books, records, files, papers, documents, and financial affairs of every state agency. The State Auditor also has the power to summon people to produce records and to answer questions under oath. To conduct its work, the Auditor’s office conducts financial audits, performance audits, information technology audits, and investigations into fraud, waste, abuse of taxpayer money, and corruption. The scope of the State Auditor’s office covers all areas of state government with the goal of improving state government and uncovering waste and abuse of state tax dollars by state agencies or private entities that receive state funds. The State Auditor conducts special studies as requested by the Legislature and audits federal grant programs to ensure North Carolina can continue to receive federal money.
3. Why do you think you can defeat the current State Auditor Beth Wood?
When the FBI brought me back to North Carolina in 1998, I was told there was no corruption in the state. In the following years, we brought prosecutions against numerous public officials, including North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, Speaker of the House Jim Black, Lottery Commissioner Kevin Geddings, General Assembly member Michael Decker, former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards, U.S. Congressman Frank Ballance and his son, District Court Judge Garey Ballance, and many others.
When I took the position of Chief Investigator for the N.C. State Board of Elections, there had been few, if any, prosecutions for election law violations this century. In the 1 1/2 years I have served as the Chief Investigator, we have referred over 30 cases to District Attorneys across the State of North Carolina ranging from vote – buying to complex campaign finance matters. Several of these cases have already resulted in prosecutions of the individuals involved.
I am confident that I can achieve similar success in raising the bar as the N.C. State Auditor, and help that office reach heights never imagined under previous auditors. The people of our state deserve public servants capable of doing the best job possible watching over their tax dollars.