A wise man once told me that you should never hire someone you cannot fire.
According to an April 6, 2012 N&O article, NC Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco asked his Director of the Community Development Division, Henry McKoy, to resign and McKoy refused.
Don Carrington broke the story about McKoy’s “efforts to funnel $2 million to the North Carolina Sustainability Center (NCSC) using four counties as a conduit” in a Carolina Journal article on April 2, 2012. Mr. McKoy failed to mention his affiliation with NCSC on his statements of economic interest covering years 2010 and 2011 even though he served as the organization’s chairman through July 8 2011 – almost a year after being hired by the Commerce Department. According to NC Ethics Commission’s forms, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly conceal or fail to disclose required information and it is a Class H felony to provide false information on a Statement of Economic Interest.
In Carrington’s follow-up article we learn that Libby Smith, senior adviser to McKoy at the Department of Commerce, headed the NCSC at the same time McKoy was serving as its chairman and while both were working for Department of Commerce. Carrington writes that Smith was acting in her official capacity as a state employee when she applied for and received a $150,000 grant for the NCSC from the “far-left” mega-funding machine Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Ms. Smith told Carolina Journal that she was acting in her official capacity as a Commerce employee when she applied for the grant last year.
Under the plan McKoy submitted to Crisco (PDF) Jan. 6, Buncombe, Edgecombe, Orange, and Yadkin counties would receive funds for a “Community Capacity Building Program.” If the counties would apply for $600,000 under his program and agreed to funnel 90 percent to the NCSC, the county could keep the remaining 10 percent for handling the grant. The counties would transfer the remaining $540,000 to NCSC for planning and research activities – a total of $2.16 million.
The four county plan has since been dropped, but a Commerce spokesman was quoted as saying “the matter remains under internal review.”
Being asked to resign usually means someone is about to be fired, but according to the Commerce Department, McKoy continues his employment there. This could make one wonder, just who did hire Mr. McKoy?