State News

Retiring liquor board head repaid $23,000 bonus

Posted February 19, 2010

— The New Hanover liquor board administrator who was paid nearly $280,000 a year to manage its stores has quietly repaid a bonus days before he retires.

The StarNews of Wilmington reported Friday that New Hanover County Alcoholic Beverage Control administrator Billy Williams repaid the liquor board nearly $23,000, the amount he received after taxes from his latest $30,000 bonus.

Williams said he returned the money because he thought it was something he needed to do.

The 63-year-old Williams retires next Friday after 42 years in the booze business.

All three members of the new Hanover County ABC board resigned after WRAL Investigates reported that Williams had an annual salary of $232,200, and his son, Bradley, was paid $115,500 a year as assistant ABC administrator. Both men also collected hefty annual bonuses.

Williams was the highest-paid ABC administrator in the state, despite the fact that areas like Mecklenburg County sold far more liquor, according to WRAL Investigates.

ABC liquor stores across the state have a wide range of employee salaries and policies. Fewer than half of the 163 local boards said they have salary policies, and a little more than half have an ethics policy in place.


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  • Be4RealPpl Feb 19, 2010

    If they really want to find some interesting "payments", they should look at the law firm that represents the ABC!

  • CrewMax Feb 19, 2010

    Only the government could lose money while operating a monopoly.

  • etshoney Feb 19, 2010

    With his salary he could afford to repay the bonus. It cleans up his image. THROW ALL THE INCUMBENTS OUT. This state is so corrupt. Term limits would solve some of the problem........Give them a 3 year term.......they don't have a lot of time to figure out the system to get the really big bucks!

  • oyid Feb 19, 2010

    He should keep the money! His take home is less than 1% of revenue. It's a very cushy job...that's for sure. Plus to put in 42yrs in a job where there's no turnover or 'heavy lifting' to! He played the game, so pay him!

  • housemanagercary Feb 19, 2010

    impatientgirl: If he wasn't guilty of something why would he repay the money. DAH

    Because of public pressure. If he were guilty of a CRIME he'd be in JAIL.

    New Hanover County should have rules and regulations stipulating the pay scale, the bonus scale and guidelines, and whether or not immediately family members can be employed. If they didn't, then he broke no laws concerning those things and is not guilty of any crime. The general public could decide that YOU make more than YOU deserve and plaster you all over the news. Then what?

  • PaperReader Feb 19, 2010

    The State of NC has no business monopolizing liquor sales anyway.

    Alcohol sales should be privatized and the sellers should pay their bribes to a central authority like the video poker guys have to. With all these local boards and stuff, its no wonder some guys are grafting a lot of money and some are only grafting a little.

    Send it to Raleigh. The NC legislature has more experience and know how. They will standardize the corruption so that it will be the same statewide.

  • Centurian Feb 19, 2010

    I don't believe this gentleman has been charged (or even accused) of committing a crime. His employers simply paid him an incredible salary. Certainly, that's not HIS fault.

  • SWEET-N-SOUR Feb 19, 2010

    If he wasn't guilty of something why would he repay the money. DAH

  • chargernut69 Feb 19, 2010

    They need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and made to pay back all the money they were paid to do NOTHING! ....Absurd !

  • unc70 Feb 19, 2010

    New Hanover County elected officials majority Republican, I believe, looking at their web site, etc. All of the ABC Board was appointed or reappointed under this Repub majority.

    I have no idea how this will play out. Just that it is not confined to one party.

    BTW all the exposure of the various ABC issues was because the Legislature asked for a staff study of the issue and report.