NC Rural Center stops severance for ex-president

Jul. 29, 2013 @ 04:09 PM

Directors of a taxpayer-funded nonprofit agency created to help North Carolina's rural communities are freezing payment of a $241,000 severance to its founding president.

The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center's board of directors voted Monday that there would be no payments under Billy Ray Hall's severance pay arrangement unless authorized by the full board. Hall had inquired through an attorney when he would receive the money.

Hall resigned this month after a state audit found his $221,000 annual salary "unreasonable," the non-profit did not adequately oversee the $25 million in state funds it received annually, and claims of jobs created were not verified.

Gov. Pat McCrory called for Hall's ouster after the audit. State lawmakers cut off the group's funding, shifting rural development efforts to existing state agencies.