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State Auditor eyeing UNC Board of Governors, ECU Trustees activity

There were a lot of new faces at last week’s dramatic UNC Board of Governors meeting on the ECU trustee controversy – lawyers, ECU students and faculty, more media than generally covers a Board of Governors meeting.

State Auditor Beth Woods speaks with UNC General Counsel Tom Shanahan and UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey.

But a standout face was State Auditor Beth Wood.

Asked whether her office is investigating the ECU matter or recent legal controversies on the Board of Governors (like the ongoing conflict over the Silent Sam settlement), Wood said she couldn’t comment.

“I hate having to say that, but I can’t,” Wood said.

But Woods attended both the UNC Board of Governors University Governance Committee meeting on the ECU trustee matter and last Friday’s full board meeting. She has also been spotted at ECU Board of Trustee meetings over the last year.

If state regulators have to determine whether the Silent Sam settlement amounted to an abandonment of fiduciary responsibility by the Board of Governors, Wood’s office would also be involved.

Wood talked briefly with UNC General Counsel Tom Shanahan and UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey before Friday’s meeting.

The UNC Board of Governors voted last week to censure and reprimand ECU trustee Robert Moore following a meeting in which he and  fellow ECU trustee Phil Lewis offered to finance an ECU student’s run for student government president if she would vote with them on the trustees board, where the SGA president is a full member.

Lewis abruptly resigned in the middle of the meeting, when it appeared there may have been enough votes on the board to remove him from the trustees board. Moore was appointed by the N.C. House and they are the body that would have to remove him.

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