NHC Commissioners appoint interim board to oversee ABC Board

Reported By Claire Hosmann - bio |email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Commissioners have appointed an interim board to serve as a temporary replacement for the ABC Board Members who resigned Monday.

Commissioners were supposed to be joined by those board members for a public hearing, but since they quit, many questions from the public went unanswered.

3 ABC officials announce their resignation

Paige Freeman wanted to hear how the ABC Board Members approved the $232,200 salary for Billy Williams, the top ABC administrator, and his son's salary of over $100,000.

"The salaries are what really hit me," said Freeman. "I just thought it was sort of out of kilter and just wondered why? Why so much money?"

New Hanover County Commissioners voted to install an interim board at the meeting. Freeman believes this decision may finally shed some light on the controversial subject.

"I think they seem to be fully prepared to really dig into it and get to the bottom of it," said Freeman. "I think they want to know what went on as well."

Heading up the interim board is County Manager Bruce Shell. He will work alongside the County Finance Director Avril Pender and New Hanover County Attorney Wanda Copley.

Shell doesn't believe that the ABC members who resigned were trying to dodge the public.

"They were tired of the controversy," said Shell. "They felt it was in the best interest of the ABC board to move forward."

Shell also believes that it is in the best interest of the ABC board to keep Billy Williams employed.  He said Williams' job is secure.

Shell and the rest of the interim board members will have the same power as regular board members, and for now, it looks like they are making the same decisions as well.

The interim board will report back to the public and the New Hanover County Commissioners at a meeting in February.

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