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Helms declines calls to resign; New Hanover ABC chairman stepping down

Alcoholic Beverage Control officials are under fire across the state. Mecklenburg ABC Board Chairman Parks Helms is under pressure to resign because he let the liquor company Diageo pay for a $12,000 dinner at Del Frisco's Steakhouse for him and board employees. Meanwhile, the head of New Hanover County's ABC is retiring in the aftermath of revelations that he makes $232,200. His son, an assistant administrator, makes $115,500. They both make more that the state ABC chairman and state ABC administrator. News of those salaries and the discovery that they received huge bonuses put the New Hanover County ABC Board under scrutiny. Three members of New Hanover's ABC board abruptly retired last week to defuse the controversy. Billy Williams says his retirement, which takes effect Feb. 26, is unrelated to the pay controversy.