WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - An event scheduled for Monday to honor former State Senator R.C. Soles with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine has been cancelled, according to officials at the location of the planned ceremony.
Soles, the longest serving legislator in state history, was set to
receive the honor from former Governor Bev Perdue. The long leaf pine is
considered one of the state's highest honors for citizens. Now,
officials are having a hard time tracking the paperwork that proves
Soles was even nominated.
According to archivist Mark Valsame, Perdue's records were transferred in January to the records center to be archived. Valsame has not been able to find the certificate request applications, the electronic form to nominate someone for the award.
Calls to the organizers of the event were not immediately returned. It was set to take place at the North Carolina Museum of Forestry, but officials there learned the event was cancelled yesterday for "personal reasons." It is unclear at this point if the event will take place at a later date.
Soles has received a lot of praise for serving the Columbus County area for decades, but he has also made headlines for legal run-ins with some of his former younger male law clients. An SBI investigation that started in 2009 against Soles has never had a public resolution.
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