NC State Auditor Beth Wood, facing misdemeanor charges, to resign
Why it matters: Her decision caps the end of a particularly tumultuous year for the four-term auditor, who plead guilty earlier this year to a misdemeanor charge for a hit-and-run in downtown Raleigh last December.
- "I made this decision because we have such a great team doing incredibly important work and I don't want to be a distraction," Wood said.
What happened: Wood announced in a legislative hearing last week that she would not seek re-election, but would serve out the remainder of her term, which ends next year, WRAL reported.
- Days later, news broke that a grand jury had indicted her with misdemeanor charges for using her state vehicle for personal errands, like hair and dentist appointments and trips to shopping malls and spas, "where she was not engaged in business in her official capacity," Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said in a statement.
The latest: Two days after those charges became public, Wood has changed her mind about serving the rest of her term.
- She informed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Thursday afternoon of her plans to resign, the governor's office said. Wood said through a spokesperson Thursday that she'll step down officially on December 15.
Catch up quick: Even after Wood drove a state car onto the hood of another vehicle after attending a Christmas party last December, she continued to drive her state vehicle.
- She was back behind the wheel of a state vehicle just two days after the accident, and put nearly 2,000 miles on a state car in the next month and a half, until state officials revoked her privileges.
- Wood also flouted state rules she pushed to enforce in using her state vehicle for personal reasons. She's released at least six audits since 2016 hat found agencies had poor oversight of state-assigned vehicles.
What's next: Cooper will appoint a replacement for Wood, and his office said information about that process will be available in the coming days.
- Meanwhile, Republicans have been lining up to run for auditor. At least one Democrat, Luis Toledo, has also said he plans to run. Candidate filing opens early next month.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to show Democrat Luis Toledo has announced his plans to run for state auditor next year.
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