ASHEVILLE– The bulk of a$2 million settlement with an insurer that offered whole-life policies to previous Buncombe County supervisor Wanda Greene will offset funding approved for regional schools earlier this month. Budget plan changes gone by commissioners Tuesday will move more than $1.8 million to the county’s general fund, about two weeks after commissioners voted to offer the same total up to Buncombe and Asheville City schools.
Now, the county will not dip into its fund balance to cover the extra funding, and less money in the reserves than expected will be utilized to balance this year’s spending plan.
“Individuals were just mad that these funds were being invested without commissioner approval, “Chairman Brownie Newman said after the conference.”And we wished to get all that money back and make the taxpayers whole on
that issue.”The remainder of the settlement, about $225,000, will be used to cover unexpected pension liability costs, Budget plan Manager Jennifer Chilton stated Tuesday night. Under an anti-pension spiking law, North Carolina bills city governments if it’s figured out inadequate cash was added to the state’s retirement system to cover pensions for recent senior citizens.
Interim Supervisor George Wood stated Buncombe last week received almost$2.1 million from Guardian Life Insurance coverage, some two months after the county announced the settlement over 10 policies for Greene and other workers. It
came simply after commissioners voted earlier this month to offer almost $1.6 million to Buncombe schools and about $295,000 to Asheville schools. Officials said the state executed higher-than-expected obligatory raises for teachers, and hence increased pension expenses.
Commissioners had actually formerly set aside$1.8 million in its fund balance, voting during budget plan conversations previously this year to require schools make official presentations to the county if they required the additional funding. Greene, who retired in June 2017, has actually been thrice prosecuted by a federal grand jury. She has actually pleaded innocent to money laundering and fraud charges related to the life insurance coverage policies.Federal prosecutors state Bo Cauble, a financial consultant at Charlotte-based Consolidated Planning Inc. and a signed up agent with Guardian, offered 10 whole-life policies to the county. An overall of$2.3 million was invested in insurance premiums, and commissioners never approved the policies as needed under state law. Under the settlement, neither Guardian nor
Consolidated Planning Inc. employees would undergo any liability claims.”Sadly, a few of our life insurance coverage policies were associated with a fraud scheme in Buncombe County,” Guardian Life Insurance coverage stated in a declaration. “Throughout the examination we dealt with authorities to help as requested while they investigated and ultimately brought charges in their case. We likewise dealt with county officials to return funds and help mitigate the financial effect of the scams, and this settlement agreement specifies the terms of that arrangement.” Greene squandered her 2 policies for almost$400,000 quickly after retirement. She’s implicated of misrepresenting to commissioners the quantity required to pay wrongful conviction settlements to five innocent guys who served time for the 2001 Fairview shooting death of Walter Bowman, and then utilizing a portion of the funds to pay the insurance premiums. The settlement with Guardian is about$230,000 less than the total quantity of county funds spent on the insurance coverage. Buncombe’s outside attorney Ron Payne has said the county will look for the rest through its civil lawsuit versus Greene and her child, ex-Buncombe staffer Michael Greene. Buncombe has not provided a specific number on just how much it’s looking for from Greene, but has suggested in previous court filings that damages exceed more than$ 950,000. While Michael Greene denied nearly all of the suit’s accusations, his mother has accepted pay some damages– though she argued”recklessness “and”intentional misbehavior” by other county officials contributed. Michael Greene appointed his policies back to Buncombe after pleading guilty in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the federal government. By the numbers Buncombe County will utilize less financing from its reserves to stabilize this year’s budget, with an insurance settlement over life insurance policies bought by ex-manager Wanda Greene assisting offset extra funding for schools
. Here’s how the $2,088,741 settlement breaks down. Buncombe schools financing:$ 1,569,410 Asheville schools financing:$294,497 Additional pension liabilities:$224,834 Overall
settlement:$2,088,741 Source: citizen-times. com