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Dysart Willis

Investigation into alleged federal crimes closed

When Pat McCrory became governor of North Carolina in 2013, he appointed an individual to receive a federal contract to oversee the state's Medicaid finances. When an audit was conducted approximately two years later, it prompted an investigation. Recently, it was announced by federal prosecutors that the inquiry into alleged federal crimes was being closed.

The correspondence sent to the parties involved was careful to indicate that any new evidence could reopen the investigation. The parties involved do not believe that will happen, however, because they have espoused their innocence from the start. Even so, one of the targets of the investigation resigned in Aug. 2015 when the announcement was made that the activities surrounding the contract were being looked into by the federal government.

Prosecutors contended that there was no bidding process prior to the original $3.2 million contract (later expanded to $9 million) being awarded. Further, the salaries of some of the key employees and advisers in the contract appeared to be higher than they should be. One person left after a month yet was given thousands in severance pay. Other improprieties were alleged. However, even with all of the records obtained by federal prosecutors, the evidence did not support the filing of any charges.

Federal prosecutors are required to meet the same burdens of proof as prosecutors here in North Carolina. Therefore, any evidence presented to the court regarding federal crimes must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When the evidence does not support the allegations made against an individual or individuals, charges should not even be filed.

Source: newsobserver.com, "Criminal investigation into state contracts closes", Anne Blythe and Lynn Bonner, Aug. 12, 2016