RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court leaves intact an agreement in which up to $50 million paid by the world’s largest pork producer is being distributed as environmental grants.
The arrangement reached in 2000 between Smithfield Foods, several subsidiaries and then-Attorney General Mike Easley can continue after a majority of justices determined last week that the money didn’t have to be earmarked for the public schools.
A conservative activist challenged the agreement in court in 2016, saying the money should be treated like fines or penalties. The attorney general selects grant recipients based on recommendations.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)