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Head Of SEANC Resigns After Allegations Of Using Group's Cash For Personal Gain

Courtesy of SEANC

The Executive Director of the state’s largest employee association has resigned amid questions of financial wrongdoing.

For the last 15 years, Dana Cope has been the head of the State Employee’s Association of North Carolina – an organization that represents the interests of 55,000 current and retired state workers.

Then, on Sunday, the News and Observer published a 2,500 word article laying out how cash from SEANC accounts was allegedly used to benefit Dana Cope personally. The allegations include $8,000 to pay for Cope to take flying lessons. A check for $19,000 to a defunct computer company which was cashed by a landscaping firm which did work at Cope’s Raleigh home. And a contract worth $342,000 for work on the SEANC building to be done by a company that specializes in private homes, one which had done work on Cope’s home as well.

Cope had denied any wrongdoing. He took a different tone today when he resigned.

"In recent days I’ve come to the realize that in carrying out the duties of my job I have blurred the line between my personal life and my professional life. By tendering my resignation today I take full responsibility for my shortcomings."

Dana Cope's resignation comes one day after Wake County’s district attorney asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter. That same day SEANC’s board released the findings of its internal investigation of Dana Cope’s spending; it found no wrongdoing. Tomorrow, Mitch Leonard, a 38 year veteran of SEANC takes over as Interim Executive Director of the group.

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR. Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit. Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others. Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.