Embezzlement charges dropped against former Princeville mayor
Posted March 18, 2015
PRINCEVILLE, N.C. — Prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed embezzlement charges against a former mayor of Princeville, saying new evidence surfaced after she was indicted in August 2013.
Priscilla Everette-Oates has faced 17 counts of embezzlement by a public official. An indictment alleged that she rang up $5,634 in unauthorized charges on a town credit card between August 2010 and January 2012.
"In light of the new information, prosecutors have determined that the criminal prosecution of Ms. Everette-Oates is not in the interest of justice," the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys said in a statement.
Authorities didn't elaborate on the new evidence.
State auditors began looking into Princeville's finances in 2012 after the state Local Government Commission took control of the town's books because the town was over budget and in danger of defaulting on a loan.
An audit found $8,115 charged to a town credit card with no receipts to substantiate the spending, including charges to Bed Bath & Beyond and a high-end steakhouse. The audit also determined that Everette-Oates received $3,289 for travel expenses that weren't documented.
Everette-Oates denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down, but she lost her re-election bid three months after she was indicted.