Audit finds TransPark finances open to corruption; Cooper-appointed former director running for Congress

RALEIGH – Government is no stranger to boondoggles, that’s for sure. While Big Government failures don’t discriminate between Republicans or Democrats, Democrats, by their political nature, are more prone to be at the center of wasteful, unaccountable, possibly corrupt abuses of our taxpayer dollars.

Case in point, the Global Transpark, which was subjected to an audit by State Auditor Beth Wood. The audit uncovered massive discrepancies and unaccounted for funds, and mostly under the leadership of a Governor Roy Cooper appointee, former mayor Greenville, Allen Thomas. What makes the finance scandal even more compelling is the fact that Thomas is currently running for Congress in the Third Congressional District’s special election.

From Carolina Journal (emphasis added):

“A scathing report from N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood released Wednesday, April 24, found the accounting methods used by the N.C. Global TransPark Authority were so bad that “fraud could occur and go undetected.”

The executive director of the GTP during the audit period, Allen Thomas, is a Democratic primary candidate for the open seat in the 3rd U.S. Congressional District. Early voting is under way for the April 30 primary.

The audit covered the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. Thomas became head of the GTP in July 2017 and resigned from his position March 25 before the audit was complete. […]

Specifically, auditors found the financial statements didn’t match accounting records, and management couldn’t explain the differences. An entry for $454,407 was recorded to balance financial statements, but management wasn’t able to provide a basis for the entry. Operating expenses were overstated by $1,268,205, or 75 percent of the final audited balances. Beginning balances were misstated by $89,893, even though the state controller provided management the correct amount.”

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Did you catch that? More than ONE MILLION DOLLARS was marked spent, but no one can say what it was spent on. You might say that million bucks is missing, having disappeared into the ether of a government boondoggle run by a Democrat. Of note, an audit for the year prior to that Democrat’s leadership did not show similar financial mismanagement identified by the auditor’s report.

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It seems to be all on Thomas, and now he wants to take that same penchant for financial mismanagement and possible corruption, on behalf of eastern North Carolina, to Washington, D.C.

That’s exactly what we need more of in the Swamp; someone experienced in Big Government profligacy and a habit for resisting oversight.

To the latter point, the GTP, under Thomas’ leadership, dragged their feet for nearly half a year in providing the documents requested by the State Auditor’s office. GTP was unresponsive to communications, they missed deadlines, left out key pieces of information, and didn’t even inform the auditor of Director Thomas’s resignation (to run for Congress).

What’s more? Observers are pointing out the lavish jet-setting lifestyle Thomas enjoyed while serving as director of the GTP.

From Carolina Journal:

“[…] While leading the GTP, Thomas posted regularly on his Instagram account, including photos from domestic and overseas trips he took to Las Vegas, Thailand, and England, among other places. It’s unclear if he paid for this travel with GTP funds.”

And how are we to know? Thomas wouldn’t respond to the requests for comment, and the accounting at the GTP is so out of whack there is more than $1,000,000 missing. Beyond the election on the coast, at the very least taxpayers and North Carolinians in general should be concerned with the negligence, abuse, and possible corruption on display here. The fact that Cooper felt confident in this appointment reinforces what we already grasp about his judgement.

The voters in the Third District, however, should be most concerned as they discern who to support in a crowded field of candidates seeking to represent them on Capitol Hill. Eastern North Carolina is a pretty conservative place, but Democrats are already hard at work trying to take advantage of an open seat after nearly 25 years with in entrenched incumbent. They will spend gobs of money (something their good at, apparently) to try to fool the electorate into thinking that the chosen Democrat is actually a conservative one, with “roots,” and compassion.

Underneath the sheep’s clothing, though, is a Big Government, big spending, reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi, with a track record of disrespecting taxpayers.

Read more about this unfolding scandal involving GTO finances from Carolina Journal here.

 

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