ALDERSON, W.Va. — 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.