CFCC President urged trustees not to hold special meeting

CFCC President urged trustees not to hold special meeting

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cape Fear Community College President, Dr. Ted Spring, urged members of the CFCC Board of Trustees to avoid calling a special meeting earlier this month in an effort to keep the college unnecessarily out of the spotlight.

The request for a special meeting came after a series of WECT reports about financial issues at the community college, including a recent WECT investigation into the President's travel reimbursements and an investigation into the College by the NC Auditor.

Spring addressed the issue of reimbursements in the emails, saying there was "no smoking gun."

"There has been no impropriety whatsoever and the issue has been vetted again and again and resolved," Spring said. "The reimbursement schedule follow by the college was appropriate by college policy and by the IRS."

Spring has been paid about $3,000 in the past fiscal year to drive a vehicle that he does not have to maintain.

Spring's only out of pocket expense is gas, but he is reimbursed at the rate of 56 cents a mile, which far exceeds the federal fuel mileage estimates for the Ford Fusion he drives.

In essence, Spring is making a profit of 40 cents for every mile he drives in the vehicle, in addition to his yearly salary of $268,000.

The emails released also provide more details about a recent visit by a team of investigators from the NC Auditor's Office.

According to Spring, someone called the state hotline at the Auditor's office to report an issue. That call prompted state investigators to review mileage records of employees who were receiving more than $400 a month for local travel.

Spring told trustees that he was not involved in the auditor's review of travel.

Despite Spring urging trustees to not hold a meeting, members met for more than two hours behind closed doors to discuss the issue last week.

At the close of the meeting, CFCC Trustee Chairman Jason Harris told WECT that a public statement and action plan to correct the identified issues would be released soon.

Harris has not responded to follow up questions and a spokeswoman for the College said she did not have any other details to release.

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