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Princeville Backing Indicted Town Manager

Posted April 15, 2008

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— Nine years after flood waters spawned by Hurricane Floyd nearly destroyed Princeville, the town is dealing with a political storm that is shaking its foundation.

A grand jury last week indicted Town Manager Sam Knight and a second man on charges of scamming Princeville out of more than $25,000 in disaster relief funds between August 2004 and December 2006.

Knight and Mark Richardson, 42, were each indicted on 13 counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

The indictments allege that Richardson passed himself off as working for a company called Williams Surveying Co. and billed for work done to rebuild the town after the hurricane when he knew no work was done. The indictments also allege that Knight knew Williams Surveying didn't exist but had Princeville's finance officer process the invoices and cut checks totaling $25,293 for Richardson.

The indictments were the result of a nine-month State Bureau of Investigation probe into the town's handling of Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funds.

Princeville officials declined to discuss Knight's arrest, referring to a statement signed by Mayor Delia Perkins that says Knight has the support of town commissioners and would remain on the job.

The town conducted an internal investigation into Floyd-recovery spending and determined that Knight did nothing illegal, the statement said.


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  • chfdcpt Apr 16, 2008

    And of course, he will probably be re-elected.

  • TheAdmiral Apr 16, 2008

    Corruption always backs corruption. It is a natural progression - the corruption backing the town manager, who is corrupt, in order to keep their name and corruption out of the news and courts.

  • southern wisdom Apr 16, 2008

    Big city or small town, government corruption is rampant!

  • RocknRollDoctor Apr 16, 2008

    How can they leave him in that job?

    They're just asking for more of the same.

  • Scubagirl Apr 16, 2008

    and another one bites the dust.

  • gnew46 Apr 15, 2008

    I would definitely side with the SBI on this. Is stealing legal in Princeville? Not so in my community or any other one that I know of.

  • PaulRevere Apr 15, 2008

    Don't call them racist for supporting him, though. What other reason could there be?

  • Evil one Apr 15, 2008

    Crooked to the core, even with suits on still subscribing to the "don't snitch" creed.

  • happymom Apr 15, 2008

    "Princeville is a town that could not exist apart from government subsidies. Corrupt officials are just part of the culture.

    There's a lot of history to that statement that you seemed to have skipped right over. Princeville is the oldest town in the United States founded by African Americans (freed slaves, actually). It does get a lot of subsidies, BUT because the town has always housed mostly poor minorities, has received less local support from the county in which it is housed, and (like many other areas that are historically African American) it exists on very poor soil. In Princeville's case, it is flood-prone, unlike it's wealthier and whiter neighbor, Tarboro.

    And, before anyone asks, I'm white so don't even bother to toss an accusation about my color influencing my statements. I've just worked very closely with a number of folks in Edgecombe and Nash counties over the last few years and I've gotten to know the lay of the land there, so to speak.

  • alx Apr 15, 2008

    Princeville is a town that could not exist apart from government subsidies. Corrupt officials are just part of the culture.