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ABC chief retiring


The head of New Hanover County's Alcoholic Beverage Control system is calling it quits. Billy Williams announced his retirement today, effective at the end of February.

Williams has come under fire since a newspaper report uncovered he and his son make about $350,000 dollars a year combined to run the county-operated liquor stores. Williams has worked for the local ABC system for 42 years.

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Time to go private. When I lived in Florida I could go to Sam's Club & Walgreens to purchase liquor sometimes on sale! especially at Christmas-all the giveaways that came along with it was great. Or there were liquor stores connected to the bar. Our state needs to regulate the sales not control it.

Insane Government Salaries Reveal BIGGER Problem

The ABC Board scandal is part of a pervasive problem, more insidious than paying County ABC administrators more than the Vice President, Secretary of Defense and Sec. of State (who all must have less important jobs than selling alcohol locally). The conduct, or misconduct, of the ABC Board exemplifies a larger problem, affecting other boards…the CFPUA, Planning Board, Airport Authority, etc…If the NHC Commissioners are serious about cleaning up the problems exemplified by the ABC Board debacle, as Mr. Thompson and Mr. Barfield indicate, then the Commissioners need only look in the mirror to find the root cause behind the ABC pay scandal. The Commissioners, responsible for appointments to government boards, are ultimately responsible for choosing individuals who engaged in secretive and perhaps self-serving behavior. They appointed those who effectively keep the public in the dark. They have promoted a culture of secrecy, ethically questionable conduct and group think, often at significant expense to property owners. Instead of appointing volunteers with diverse areas of expertise they have become increasingly devoted to insiders often representing the same interest groups.

It is not enough to examine the ABC Board’s conduct and ignore its cause. Until the Commissioners appoint more individuals committed to public outreach and ethics, the vast majority of citizens will continue to lack representation on many local boards whose decisions quietly affect their lives and wallets.

Brian Berger
Wilmington, NC