WRAL Investigates

Perdue orders closer look at local ABC boards

Posted November 23, 2009
Updated December 7, 2009

— A wide range in pay for local managers of North Carolina's ABC boards and the reluctance of boards to make that information public has drawn the attention of Gov. Bev Perdue.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported Sunday that its inquiry into salaries at New Hanover County and other ABC boards prompted the chairman of the state ABC commission to take the matter to Perdue's office, which ordered a closer look.

That comes on the heels of a two-part WRAL News Investigation into the ABC system.

The newspaper reported that Billy Williams, the administrator of the New Hanover Alcoholic Beverage Control board who has worked there for nearly 42 years, makes $232,200 a year.

His son, Bradley Williams, an employee since 1994 and the assistant administrator, earns $115,500 annually.

State commission chairman Jon Williams makes $109,553 a year. State Administrator Michael Herring earns $97,279.

Cumberland County's top ABC representative earns $101,000, Durham's makes $112,000 and Wake's makes $127,000, according to ABC's records.

Wake County does more than twice as much in sales compared with New Hanover County. New Hanover had the fourth-highest liquor sales statewide, according to the state's records.

The general manager of New Hanover County's ABC Board did not return WRAL's calls.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ncemployee Nov 23, 2009

    Salaries have always been public information. The problem is that the names of the people in these positions used to be private. They would only post the position numbers. Now the only thing that is sacred is your deductions.

  • ncemployee Nov 23, 2009


    The Charlotte Observer database is only for rank and file employees up to directors. The "appointees" i.e., Secretaries, CFO's, CEO's, and whatever else they call them are not. Those are the salaries you should be concerned with. I don't care if you know that I have been employeed for 17 years and make a whopping $39,000. I just completed a college degree so that I could move up and I still only got a "trainee" salary when I applied for and got my promotion. I went from a paygrade 63 to a paygrade 76. Certain people would have gotten a 5% increase per paygrade. I got 10% total, the equivalent of (2) paygrades. The starting pay for pay grade 76 is 46,666 per year. Do you think any of those "appointees" were hired at 10% above what they made at the institutions or organizations they came from? Thank goodness I appreciate my job. At least my job is safe. They won't make cuts because no one else is willing to do the work.

  • chevybelair57sd Nov 23, 2009

    more of those good ole boy local politics at tax payer expense

  • starshield Nov 23, 2009

    to kwparker80,
    A Charlotte newspaper gives all of the state employees salary by name. It is public record. If you are paid by public funds, then I, as a taxpayer, have the right to know the salary.

  • MadderMan Nov 23, 2009


    Ummm, WHAT? Try that again in English, please. And use some punctuation while you are at it.


    I don't know what you THINK government is, but it is VERY MUCH a business in every sense of the word. Therefore, your argument is invalid.


    Publicly posting the names and salaries of individual employees is a NO NO, and would get you fired from your job if you did the same with WRAL employees. Salaries for public officials, whether elected or appointed, is appropriate, however you seriously invaded the privacy of the regular employees you named. You should be reprimanded for that.

    As I have stated before, the only way the problem is going to be solved is to privatize the sale of Liquor, however I strongly agree that it should not be sold anywhere but licensed liquor stores. Exposing liquor to anyone, any age, in an environment where shoplifting is common would make it entirely too easy for minors to aquire it.

  • CrewMax Nov 23, 2009

    This system should go the way of tobacco. We should not be at the mercy of some good old boys dictating what we can buy. I would be interested in seeing the data that proves we pay less for liquor in NC. I don't believe it,but, if it was true, it would be because the taxpayers subsidize it.

  • Honesty first Nov 23, 2009

    Hey OSX...If "back home" is so great, Delta or Greyhound is ready when you are. If you want to come here fine, but please do not tell us how great everything was "back home". If it was so great....guess what?

  • nbforrest Nov 23, 2009

    Liquor prices are cheaper in NC than other states. What you pay in New Bern you pay in Asheville. If you don't have enough sense to buy you booze before the store closes you do not need it anyway.

  • BULLDOZER Nov 23, 2009

    Another great example of our government at work, and being efficient.....not.

  • aspenstreet1717 Nov 23, 2009

    Sell liquor in grocery stores. 30 years over due. Many other states do it very successfully.More Governemnt equals more Easely clones feathering their own nests.