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Police seize computers, files from Raleigh business incubator

Posted July 10, 2013

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— Police have seized a half-dozen computers and various files from the Raleigh Business and Technology Center following a city audit that turned up financial discrepancies.

Investigators searched the offices of the business incubator on Monday, including the office of Lawrence Wray, a former assistant city manager in Raleigh who serves as chairman of the center's board of trustees.

Auditors found some questionable spending by center officials, including $940 paid to Executive Director Robert Robinson and $18,720 paid to a trust account that had no supporting documentation. Also, about $25,000 in cashier's checks cannot be accounted for, according to the audit.

The audit also questioned transactions between the Business and Technology Center and various board members. Some board members loaned the center money, and the center loaned $13,000 to a church where a board member serves as pastor and $290,000 to a group founded by Robinson.

Robinson resigned a week before the audit was released, Wray said.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane said last week that the city won't renew its contract with the Raleigh Business and Technology Center and ordered the center to vacate its office on South Wilmington Street by the end of the month.

The city opened the center downtown in 2000 to serve as a business incubator, providing inexpensive office space, networking opportunities and other support to start-up companies. Raleigh has provided the center with annual appropriations of $162,000 in recent years to help finance its operations.

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  • glarg Jul 11, 2013

    " including $940 paid to Executive Director Robert Robinson"

    Not $940!

    I think there is some kind of a political hatchet being ground here by the mayor....

  • lsdhome Jul 11, 2013

    Is Exec. Dir. Robert Robinson related to Prezell Robinson, former president of St. Augustine College?

  • Obamacare rules Jul 11, 2013

    Hostile witness, please stop being so hostile.

  • hostile witness Jul 11, 2013

    Question for moderator: Why did my post show up with a name other than my own? I am not "hostile witness" and never have used that name. "The computers and files are seized over a week AFTER the financial shenanigans became public? That's crackerjack police work. Mayor Stoner would be proud.
    hostile witness
    July 11, 2013 8:18 a.m."

  • hostile witness Jul 11, 2013

    The computers and files are seized over a week AFTER the financial shenanigans became public? That's crackerjack police work. Mayor Stoner would be proud.

  • rpd911 Jul 10, 2013

    jblake1932, really? Really?

  • Wacky_dood Jul 10, 2013

    Unbelievable.

  • outdoor592000 Jul 10, 2013

    Another case of funds given away to try and help society, and programs with little oversight is taken advantage of. Hope they prosecute those that stole.........

  • jblake1932 Jul 10, 2013

    I hope they had a search warrant BEFORE seizing the items. If not, they can be sued.