WRAL Investigates

DOT seeks state audit of Ferry Division

Posted August 25, 2010

N.C. ferry

— The state Department of Transportation has asked the State Auditor's Office to investigate various practices within the state-run ferry system that officials call questionable.

The DOT started an internal investigation of its Ferry Division last month after the division's former director Harold "Buddy" Finch complained about a system full of excessive payroll padding, unregulated purchasing and nepotism, where scores of family members were getting ferry jobs.

Finch was fired after less than two months on the job. DOT officials said he was dismissed because of his harsh management style and behavior.

The department on Wednesday released a draft report of its findings. The investigation didn't find major policy violations, but it did reveal pay, purchasing and hiring procedures that officials said deserve a closer look.

"We have asked the State Auditor's Office to step in and assist us in the next level of this investigation," said Jim Westmoreland, deputy secretary for transit at DOT. "We think it's important. We think it's appropriate, relative to how the reviews are done and completed."

Finch said the report backs up many of his allegations, but he said it doesn't go far enough and he welcomes an outside audit. He said he was trying to clean up what he considers corruption in government when he got fired.

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  • dwg0325 Aug 27, 10:08 a.m.

    beckerunc.

    There was director Finch, but they fired him because he wouldn't rubber stamp the nepotism and corruption.

  • mrman2a Aug 27, 8:59 a.m.

    Good ole boys ride again at tax payers expense,(WHATS NEW)?

  • beckerunc Aug 27, 8:30 a.m.

    Is there anyone in goverment employment with integrity?

  • dwg0325 Aug 26, 3:59 p.m.

    Yes...it says that he got fired for discovering all the nepotism and corruption in the ferry system. Do you think they would be asking the State Auditor's Office to step in if there was nothing to investigate..really?

  • nathanel Aug 26, 2:15 p.m.

    Wonderful,let them speak for thereselves. Wonder If they will? Only one I heard say anything is former director Finch? That should say something.

  • dwg0325 Aug 26, 1:59 p.m.

    I haven't applied for a job there nor do i want a job there. I know many people that work for the ferry division. Even they admit its a joke.

  • nathanel Aug 26, 1:36 p.m.

    DWG0325,

    You answered yourself! As far as nepotism, have you applied for a job or something and someone that has a relative with the division got it ahead of you?

  • dwg0325 Aug 26, 12:32 p.m.

    "As far as nepotism everyone down east is kin"

    Best comment yet. Which is it, "out of towners" or "kin" working there? You contradict yourself.

    "Kin"...just a down-east work for something decidedly more "Deliverance" right?

  • nathanel Aug 26, 11:38 a.m.

    DWG0325

    No relative of mine works for the ferry division at Cedar Island, you apparently must of applied for a job and did not get it, But from your comments on here it is understandable. Cedar Island employees are a team and does not need a negative person that makes comments like you working there. The employees at the Cedar Island Terminal are hard working and dedicated employees. As far as nepotism everyone down east is kin,

  • dwg0325 Aug 26, 11:15 a.m.

    nathanel....i bet you work for the ferry system in Cedar Island. Which relative got you that job? Also you spelled "Apparently" wrong.

    Jealous of what? Nepotism?

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