Buncombe County commissioners voted Tuesday afternoon to terminate all contracts the county has with a consultant tied to the indictment of three former high-level county managers. The county will also sue all involved in the alleged scheme. Board of commissioners chair Brownie Newman made the announcement of the lawsuit at the very end of a special meeting that lasted about 20 minutes.
Joseph Wiseman was not named or charged in the indictment announced last week. But he was later identified by Buncombe County as the person in question who allegedly offered all-expense paid trips and other gifts to Wanda Greene, Jon Creighton, and Mandy Stone. That trio faces fraud, conspiracy, and receipt of bribery charges. Wiseman worked to represent three different companies that received more than $15-million in contracts with Buncombe County since the 1980’s according to federal prosecutors.
Greene served as Buncombe County manager for 20 years, while Creighton and Stone were assistant county managers that served in other roles in county government as well. All three retired in the past year before they were charged. Stone was the most recent to leave. She abruptly retired at the beginning of July after just 11 months as interim county manager, replacing Greene who retired at the end of June 2017.
Wanda Greene has been indicted three separate times this year by federal authorities. In April she and her son Michael, another former Buncombe County employee, were both charged with using county-owned credit cards to make thousands of dollars of personal purchases. Michael Greene already plead guilty to one charge in that case. Then in June, Wanda Greene was indicted again on charges she fraudulently purchased life insurance policies for several county employees including herself with county funds, and then cashed in one of those policies once she retired to pay for a real estate purchase in Tennessee.