Local News

Meg Scott Phipps Returns Home After Prison Stint

Posted April 23, 2007

— Former state agriculture commissioner Meg Scott Phipps was back at her Haw River home Monday afternoon after serving more than three years in prison on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

Phipps was released Monday morning from a federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia. Under the terms of her release, she was remain under electronic surveillance until her term officially ends August 24.

"I'm so excited because it's hard to believe that this day has come. It's been over three years," Phipps told WRAL's David Crabtree. "I wake up this morning in my prison bunk bed and tonight, I'll be in my bed at home."

Phipps said there were going-away parties Sunday night with plenty of hugs and tears.

"I leave a lot of great women behind and that's bittersweet," she said. "I've seen a lot of women come and go. It's my time and it will be their time soon."

Phipps, the daughter of former Gov. Bob Scott, pleaded guilty in 2003 to accepting thousands of dollars in illegal cash payments, doctored campaign finance reports to cover it up and extorted money from carnival operators with the promise of state fair contracts.

While in prison, Phipps she became friends with domestic diva Martha Stewart, who was also incarcerated there. While serving her sentence, Phipps taught English and other courses to her fellow inmates.

Phipps was elected agriculture commissioner in 2000, replacing longtime Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham. She resigned in July 2003 after members of her campaign staff were indicted for their roles in the scandal.

Phipps plans to work as the Christian education director at the Presbyterian church her family has attended for generations.

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  • Care for the earth Apr 26, 10:46 a.m.

    She may be a lovely woman, but she illegally used extremely poor judgement. She pleaded guilty in 2003 to accepting thousands of dollars in illegal cash payments, doctored campaign finance reports to cover it up and extorted money from carnival operators with the promise of state fair contracts. She is a criminal.
    I guess her church embraces forgiveness since they have made her director of Christian Education! I suppose they know her well enough to trust her to instruct children in Christian values, not in extortion, lying and covering up illegal activity.

  • BridgeBuilder Apr 25, 2:58 p.m.

    Nice post Churchill.

  • historian1 Apr 24, 4:10 p.m.

    It was a waste of our tax dollars to put her prison. It did not make our streets any safer. It would be interesting to know how much of our tax money was spent to prosecute and send her to prison. What she did may have been wrong, but sending her to prison did not accomplish anything.

  • Churchill Apr 24, 2:20 p.m.

    I was surprised to see the anchor of a highly respected station like WRAL pandering to a convicted felon. Was there nothing more newsworthy to cover in Wake County yesterday? The most disappointing aspect of the lackluster interview was the video showing Mr. Crabtree approaching Ms. Phipps to give her a big hug as she got out of her vehicle.(It is interesting to note that this portion has been edited out of the link that now appears on your website.) What Mr. Crabtree does on his own time -- and his personal feelings for the subjects of his interviews -- are his own business but that gesture, caught on camera, reflected the bias of his amateurish "reporting." I simply don't recall ever seeing Walter Cronkite or Mike Wallace displaying such unprofessional conduct.

  • Emerald Apr 24, 1:01 a.m.

    Meg, they made an example of you. I don't think it's right, but I'm glad you're home with your family.

    I wish you all the best.

  • heelsfan17 Apr 23, 11:31 p.m.

    I am NOT a liberal democrat. And as I see it, the issue of forgiveness has nothing to do with party affiliation. We're all human. We make mistakes. Leave her be.

  • Retired nurse Apr 23, 10:54 p.m.

    She looks better than she did when she went in! Nice job Mrs. Phillips. Hope all goes well for you and you learned a lesson while pulling your sentence. God be with you and your family.

  • Mebanite Apr 23, 10:34 p.m.

    Meg is my friend and a member of my church, I fully support and stand by our decision to welcome her back in to our church. This was a church decision and I am personally am not concerned about the judgement of others. We are her long term friends and neighbors who have known her for many years and we will trust our own judgement as to what is appropriate for our community.

  • prolwncare Apr 23, 10:28 p.m.

    Evidently, as former Ag Commish, Meg was pickin' the pole beans at the prison plot, and as former home pro maven, Martha was cookin' them in the Kitchen.

  • nunyabizness Apr 23, 10:01 p.m.

    Meg has served her time, and hopefully made restitution to her victims...wait, were there any victims???

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