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Posted on: March 1, 2017

County Launches Internal Investigation to Address Financial Questions

To ensure that the issue of alleged payroll irregularities within the Hoke County government is resolved as thoroughly as possible, the County has launched its own internal investigation. The County's investigation will be conducted concurrently with the ongoing SBI investigation, with which it is fully cooperating. The County will also investigate any irregular activity across its departments to ensure that no improper activity has occurred. Hoke County Commissioner Bobby Wright said, "Hoke County has taken immediate steps to address the allegations giving rise to the SBI investigation and will do so in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner."

The accounting firm of Cherry Bekaert LLP has been engaged to support the County's
investigation. The Cherry Bekaert team assigned to Hoke County consists of
professionals having more than 60 years of combined experience investigating financial
irregularities in North Carolina and also consists of two former senior SBI special
agents. Cherry Bekaert is a leading provider of audit services to local governments in
North Carolina. The firm is also currently ranked among the nation's largest accounting
firms and is an industry leader in auditing state and local governments. The Charleston
Group will provide legal support to the investigation in collaboration with the county
attorney.

The County intends to reinstate the employee who reported the irregularities to law
enforcement. The decision to terminate this employee was shortsighted. This employee
will be placed on administrative leave with full pay and benefits pending the conclusion
of the County's investigation.

It remains the County's top priority to continue to serve its citizens. The best way to do
that is to be completely transparent. The County will proactively share updates on its
investigation as it is able.
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