WILMINGTON, NC - The former ABC Board for New Hanover County paid more than $100,000 to a pair of private law firms over the last two years despite having attorneys on the board and access to the county's attorney - reports WHQR-FM in Wilmington.
Invoices from the county show the board paid attorney George Rountree and the law firm Yow, Fox and Mannen at least $102,000 between 2008 and the present.
The former board resigned over reports of huge salaries and raises for top executives.
New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell stepped in as interim Chairman and says Rountree's firm was used in an ABC zoning issue that began in 2008 and that he ended Rountree's services shortly after taking over.
"My call, from a board standpoint talking to my other two board members, was to put it all on hold and do a thorough evaluation of the property. And therefore I did not need the services that had been hired before to continue that. I could do that on my own."
Shell says Yow, Fox and Mannen had been the general legal advisors for the previous board for a number of years.
He says it will be up to the new ABC Board to decide whether it wants to pay for outside attorneys.