buncombe county government

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene has been sentenced to seven years in prison and must pay a $100-thousand fine for the various fraud and corruption charges she pleaded guilty to earlier this year.  

Joseph Wiseman, the contractor involved in the final of three indictments against former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene, plead guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.  His guilty plea is the fifth prosecutors have achieved over the past year for an investigation into corruption and fraud in Buncombe County government.  He faces up to five years in prison when sentenced.

Former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene plead guilty last week to charges leveled against her in three separate indictments that were handed down last year.  Her plea mean all four former county employees who were charged by federal prosecutors last year have plead guilty - Greene, her son Michael, and former assistant county managers Jon Creighton and Mandy Stone.  But that doesn't mean the corruption investigation that shook county government to the core is done.  Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Jennifer Bowman broke many stories as the investigation unfolded.  She joined BPR's Matt Bush for an update on the latest news regarding the Greene scandal.

Court documents filed Thursday morning show that former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene will plead guilty, ending a corruption and fraud scandal in county government that stretched back more than a decade.  The filing comes a day after the Buncombe County board of commissioners reached a settlement agreement in its lawsuit against Greene, and a day after a judge accepted a plea deal with a former assistant county manager who was charged alongside Greene. 

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.  

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.

UPDATE 10:00 PM - A statement put out by Buncombe County commissioners Tuesday evening seemed to name the contractor in the indictment as Joseph Wiseman.  The full statement reads -

UPDATE - FRIDAY 12:30 P.M. - Michael Greene plead guilty Friday morning in federal court in Asheville to one charge of conspiracy, related the charges that he and his mother Wanda Greene misused Buncombe County-owned credit cards for thousands of dollars of personal purchases over a 10-year period.  He faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250-thousand fine when he's sentenced at a later date.  Michael Greene has also been ordered to forfeit $11, 732.21 that prosecutors say represents the amount of "proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, from the offenses plead

The federal investigation into former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene has been one of if not the biggest local government story in the region in 2017.  Greene retired at the end of June after nearly 20 years on the job.  Shortly after, federal authorities confirmed she was being investigated, but did not specify for what.  Through dribs and drabs information about the final months of Greene's tenure came out, including the awarding of hefty bonus packages to high-sa