Friday, September 17, 2010

Changes to ABC Board in Mecklenburg County , Will Greensboro Do Anything or Play The Delay Game?


According to a new post at blog called Pundit House titled "Big Bucks for Booze Board," Mecklenburg County N.C made a complete overhaul of their local Alcoholic Beverage Control board. At the end of the post this is what was stated:

"Along with the salary adjustments, commissioners also approved other tweaks to ABC oversight and operation: the local board must submit a monthly copy of law enforcement activity report to the board of commissioners; submit an annual balanced budget to the board of commissioners and hold a public hearing before adopting a budget; conduct an annual financial audit and present it to commissioners for review; receive commission approval for any salary increase for the CEO; and obtain advance approval from the county finance director for any ABC Board travel expense that exceeds $1,000."

When will we see our local Greensboro ABC control board take on the issues raised with this report from July 14, 2010 from Mark Binker at News and Record? Here is a link to original report CLICKHERE . Below are some of the allegations,

The report by Alcohol Law Enforcement Officers details several things of value they say Alley inappropriately took from liquor industry representatives. Alley says some of reports findings are wrong and others fell within generally accepted business practices.

Among the reports findings, Alley is alleged to have:

-accepted more than 70 meals from liquor company representatives.
-accepted and/or free lodging from liquor company representatives for travel in New York and California.
-prevailed on liquor industry contacts to obtain free or discounted liquor for personal use.
-collected mini-bottles meant for sale as premiums with regular liquor bottles, giving them to favored employees or taking them for herself.
-reported some bottles of high-end liquor as damaged but keeping them for herself rather than disposing of the liquor in question.
-taken home parts of in-store displays that should have been returned to liquor companies, including bar stools and an electric fireplace.
-ordered employees to forge to the signature of the Greensboro ABC Board chairman on a financial disclosure document

Close to 2 months have passed and not one peep has been heard out of the Greensboro City Council on the allegations against local ABC board general manager Katie Alley.

I want to give out my George Hartzman question for the day to end this post, and it is a question to General Manager Katie Alley.

As you can see from the report, you had accepted well over 70 meals from liquor company representatives, and during this whole process of going out to eat with the representatives, did you ever pick up the tab for one meal during this whole time?

If the answer is yes, please release the receipts.

Katie Alley expected the liquer distributors to pick up the tab. Hopefully, more information will come out on this issue . The local Greensboro ABC board is circling their wagons around Ms. Alley to protect their monopolistic empire of extorted favors, instead of cleaning house, which is what Charlotte and Mecklenburg County did.

Maybe it's time for our local elected leadership to step up to the plate and call for some reforms, even though they recieve the same treatment from campaign contributors with business before our legislature.

Maybe that's why they haven't.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why should the ABC Board ever pay for a lunch?

I have worked in Sales for over 10 years, and have never once had a client pay for my lunch. The liquor companies understand this is the cost of doing business. Walk into any company that does business with a grocery store and it is the exact same thing, they are "smoozed" every day for shelf space.
Rather than raise questions about the local ABC boards, why not really ask the hard questions like why the state of NC does not get out of the liquor business all together. This should be privatized and allowed to be given over to "the free hand of the market". This would allow the state a huge tax base and a much more efficient system rather then the built in redundancy of today's model.
I feel most of your concerns about damaged product, old displays and lunches not paid for are petty and do compare in the magnitude of the cost to the NC taxpayer regarding the model of liquor sales in NC compared to any other of the 50 states.