As reported by WRAL, the series of articles exposing the questionable practices of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center has inspired the formation of an independent committee to investigate the Center’s dealings.
The review committee will be chaired by former state Rep. Carolyn Justice, R-Brunswick. They’re tasked with reviewing the grants and issuing a report to the board by July 31st.
I’d like to recommend the new committee begin their investigation by looking into two grants made to the Rural Faith Development Community Development Corporation (RFD CDC).
If you go to the Charlotte Observer’s Rural Center grant database, and enter in RFD CDC in the “recipient” search box, the results will show a $300,000 grant made on 4/29/09 and another $75,000 grant made on 4/24/13.
The Executive Director of RFD CDC is Dr. Alan Rice, Jr. Dr. Rice is also a Board Member of the Rural Center, and has been for several years.
Also on the Board of RFD CDC is Jeremy Troxler, son of NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Steve Troxler is also on the Rural Center Board.
Lastly, Thomas Lambeth is also on the RFD CDC Board. Lambeth is also a longtime Board member of the Rural Center and currently an Emeritus Board member. He also is the former Executive Director and current Senior Fellow with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a major funder of left-wing causes in NC.
Are all these connections just a mere coincidence, or is there a conflict of interest surrounding the $375,000 of grant money funneled from the Rural Center to RFD CDC?
Rep. Justice, I look forward to you and the committee finding some answers.