As the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, Wanda Greene pleaded guilty this week to several federal criminal offenses arising from her corrupt activity while serving as Buncombe County Manager. With the plea, Greene joins her conspirators and former assistant county managers Jon Creighton and Mandy Stone, as well as her son Michael Greene, in awaiting sentencing for their crimes. As the News Roundup has noted previously, Creighton, Stone, and the Greene’s participated to varying degrees in a range of corrupt schemes including accepting bribes in exchange for awarding county contracts and misusing county funds for their personal benefit. Keep reading for more news.
Silent Sam. UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt announced this week that she had ordered the removal of the pedestal which supported the Silent Sam Confederate monument that was toppled by protestors last year. Folt said that the pedestal posed a threat to campus safety, and also announced that she would resign after spring graduation. Though Folt planned to stay through graduation, the UNC Board of Governors decided that she must leave her position at the end of this month.
Aguilar. The News Roundup previously noted reports indicating that the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office apparently had failed to follow up on information from the State Crime Lab that linked Michael Ray McLellan, the suspect in the killing of Hania Aguilar, to a 2016 sexual assault. The Sheriff’s Office received the information from the Crime Lab in 2017, prior to Aguilar’s killing last year. WRAL reports that two deputies who were suspended in connection with this incident, Anthony Thompson and Darryl McPhatter, are no longer with the department.
Trooper Shot. The Wilson Times reports that Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Harrell has been released from the hospital after being shot during a traffic stop in Elm City. Harrell was investigating a towing violation when he was shot by one of the occupants of the stopped vehicle. Harrell returned fire and gave chase until he was involved in a collision with the fleeing vehicle. A passing motorist who is a nurse, Sherice Richardson, stopped at the scene and treated Harrell until paramedics arrived.
Support Ainsworth. Last week the News Roundup noted that Raleigh Police Officer Charles Ainsworth was shot while conducting a traffic stop and was in serious condition at Wake Med. Ainsworth remains hospitalized and several local businesses have partnered with the police department and the State Employee’s Credit Union for fundraisers for Ainsworth’s medical expenses. This WRAL article lists the various fundraisers and also identifies a SECU account that people can donate to if they can’t make it to one of the events.
Officers Acquitted. The Chicago Tribune reports that three Chicago police officers were acquitted this week of charges that they attempted to cover up for former officer Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted last year of second-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014, by lying in police reports to exaggerate the threat that McDonald posed to officers on the night he was killed. Announcing the bench trial verdict, Judge Domenica Stephenson characterized the evidence as weak and speculative. The Tribune report says that the case is “believed to be the first time any Chicago officer has faced charges for an alleged cover-up of an on-duty shooting.”
MLK Day. Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the SOG will be closed for the federal holiday. A wide range of events are scheduled across the state to commemorate King’s legacy; here’s a list of events in the Triangle from the N&O. Check your local news outlets for events in your area. We’ll be back to blogging on Tuesday.