A document obtained by the New Hanover County ABC Board shows that from 2008-present, the Board compensated attorney George Rountree III a total of $102,221.72 for services rendered.
Late last year and into the beginning of this year, the former members of the county board were under heavy fire for openly disobeying state open meetings law, competitive bidding laws, and a whole host of other questionable activities due to little or no oversight by the county. During those proceedings, it was reported in the Star News that attorney Rountree was retained by the Board to represent the members, although they were never officially charged with any crime or wrongdoing whatsoever. The entire issue cleanly disappeared when the three members of the ABC Board promptly resigned just as their house of cards was beginning to topple.
However, there is absolutely no answer as to why the ABC Board has had Rountree retained permanently, and has compensated him so much over the past two years. In the State of North Carolina, ABC Boards are public boards, and by law are to operate in the view of the public, and even are supposed to be comprised of members of the public. On the surface, there appears no need or reason for a public ABC Board to retain an attorney for an extended period of time; and even their deferral to Rountree in the wake of the public scrutiny surrounding their activities remains questionable.
More to come - stay tuned.
Document revealing compensation for Rountree:
ABC Board Rountree