Perdue: Pay teachers, not severance

Posted May 18, 2012
Updated May 19, 2012

Gov. Bev Perdue, who spoke about education funding Friday at an event in Chapel Hill, responded to reports of severance pay for two members of Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis' staff with disdain. 

“I've focused on paying teachers and teachers assistants and state employees,” Perdue said. “My budget does a little raise for all of them. And in my opinion that's where resources need to go – to pay the state's workforce, not to pay severance.”

Personnel records show Tillis gave an extra month’s pay to Charles Thomas and Amy Hobbs, both of whom were forced to resign because they were having affairs with lobbyists.

State law doesn't provide for severance for employees like Thomas and Hobbs, but Tillis said a month's pay for each was fair because both have family obligations. The cost to taxpayers was more than $19,000 dollars.

Fellow Republican, House Majority Leader Paul Stam, said Friday that Tillis still has the support of his caucus, but he did not defend the severance payments.

“Since it's a personnel matter I'm not even familiar with all the parameters of it,” Stam said. “But the idea of paying people not to work is troubling.”

Democrats have called for Tillis to dip into his campaign fund and reimburse the state for $19,000 dollar payout. The Speaker's office has not responded to WRAL's requests for a response.


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  • oldaltar May 21, 2012

    I see that there are not many comments on this story. I wonder why?

  • SaveEnergyMan May 19, 2012

    He should have to replace this money with his own money because state law prohibits severance in this circumstance. Ignorance is no excuse - someone in his office should know the rules and should have vetoed this. Why should he be allowed to break state law? If this happened in any other state agency someone would get fired (and justifiably). Republicans (and Democrats too) will never be taken seriously until they follow the same rules we all do.