Former Buncombe County assistant manager Mandy Stone has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the sweeping corruption case that rocked county government in 2018. Stone was charged alongside fellow assistant manager Jon Creighton and former county manager Wanda Greene over the summer for allegedly accepting trips and other gifts from a contractor that did business with the county. For Greene, it was the third time she had been indicted on federal charges since she retired at the end of June 2017.
Stone's plea was unveiled in court documents filed Friday. The 'factual basis' document for the case (read it here) shows that Stone will admit to receiving more than $40-thousand in gifts and 'things of value to which she was not lawfully entitled.' The document does not detail which charges Stone will plead guilty to, but she does face fraud, federal program fraud, conspiracy, and receipt of bribes charges. Prosecutors allege that Stone, Creighton, and Greene accepted vacations, gifts, and other 'things of value' from a contractor who was not named in the indictment but was later indentified as Joseph Wiseman. Creighton already pled guilty to his part in the alleged conspiracy. Buncombe County commissioners terminated all contracts the county had with Wiseman shortly after the indictment was announced. Wiseman does not face any charges.
Stone's plea means three of the four former county employees charged with federal crimes in 2018 have admitted guilt. Michael Greene, the son of Wanda Greene, plead guilty to charges he improperly used Buncombe County issued credit cards for personal purchases. His mother was also charged in that case. Wanda Greene also faces charges she purchased life insurances policies for top-level county managers outside of the knowledge of Buncombe County commissioners, and then cashed in one of those policies when she retired to pay for a real estate purchase in Tennessee.