buncombe county commissioners

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County commissioners Tuesday evening approved a resolution supporting reparations for the Black community in the county.  The resolution – passed on a 4-3 party line vote - does not create a commission to determine what reparations will be like the city of Asheville OK’d last month.  

Matt Bush

In a narrow 4-3 party line vote Tuesday night, Buncombe County commissioners approved a resolution to remove two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville.  The decision came one week after Asheville City council approved the same resolution unanimously.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Asheville city council approved a resolution that calls for the removal of two Confederate monuments, while creating a group to decide the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square.  The Buncombe County board of commissioners will also vote on the resolution at its next meeting this coming Monday.

A federal grand jury announced an indictment of former Buncombe County commissioner Ellen Frost Tuesday afternoon.  Frost is accused of participating in a scheme with former county manager Wanda Greene to use $575-thousand in county funds to sponsor and promote events at two equestrian centers not located in Buncombe County.  The indictment alleges that as a horse owner herself, Frost had a personal interest in promoting and supporting those venues.  Frost and Greene allegedly tried to cover up the expenditures by claiming the money was spent to advertise the Asheville Regional Airport at equestrian events.

Buncombe County’s Democratic commissioners plan to speak out Tues. against a measure that would force sheriffs to comply with federal immigration agents.

Wikicommons/DeLawson

Earlier this decade, Buncombe County voters narrowly approved a quarter-cent sales tax hike to further fund A-B Tech.  Years later, it was revealed the revenue raised by that tax hike wasn’t totally going to the school, but was instead being used to balance the county budget. 

Matt Bush BPR

Buncombe County commissioners are weighing whether a ‘forensic audit’ of county spending is needed following the latest indictment of former county manager Wanda Greene.  Greene, and former assistant county managers Jon Creighton and Mandy Stone, all pleaded not guilty this week to charges they accepted all-expense paid trips and other gifts from a consultant who worked for businesses that had contracts with Buncombe County.  It was the third time Greene was indicted this year by federal prosecutors for fraud and conspiracy.   County commissioners

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.

Matt Bush BPR

Following a closed session meeting Monday morning, Buncombe County commissioners announced manager Mandy Stone will retire on July 1st after just 11 months on the job.  Her decision comes after a whirlwind of actions - and responses to those actions - following the announcement of further federal charges against her immediate predecessor Wanda Greene last Tuesday.  Stone took over the position when Greene retired last June.

Former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene faces 23 new charges including wire fraud, federal program fraud, and money laundering.  Those charges were announced in a federal indictment this week.  They're in addition to the fraud, conspiracy, and embezzlement charges that were already filed against her in April for allegedly misusing county-owned credit cards to purchase personal goods.  Her son Michael, also a former Buncombe County employee, was also charged in that case.

Former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene faces a new round of federal charges including  money laundering and wire and federal program fraud.  Shortly after the new charges were announced Tuesday evening, Buncombe County announced it would sue Greene and her son Michael to recover money the county lost due to her alleged actions.

Buncombe County commissioners Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Al Whitesides, and Ellen Frost are calling for extensive public safety reforms - a call that brought a sharp and quick rebuke from county sheriff Van Duncan.  

N.C. Public Division Of Health

The opioid crisis is affecting all of the U.S., and Western North Carolina in particular.  And it is showing no signs of slowing down in the region's most populous county.  In the first 8 months of 2017, 230 visits to emergency departments were reported in Buncombe County, as opposed to just 84 during the same time frame last year.

Buncombe County

Monday will be a very busy day or Buncombe County commissioners.  New commissioners, but not all of them, will be sworn-in at a meeting of the board Monday.  Two spots will likely remain open, but a second meeting of the Buncombe County Democratic party will fill of those empty seats later Monday evening.  Emily Patrick, a reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the paper's Buncombe County government watchdog, stopped by the WCQS studios to give a preview of the day's events.