WRAL Investigates

Distiller provides receipts for dinners with N.C. ABC boards

Posted January 21, 2010 5:09 p.m. EST
Updated January 21, 2010 7:34 p.m. EST

— An executive with a liquor company at the center of a controversial dinner involving Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control members turned over nearly two dozen receipts on Thursday for dinners he had with members of local ABC boards across the state.

Andy Iredale, marketing director for Diageo North America, turned over receipts for dinners last year involving at least 11 local ABC boards.

Locally, the Orange County ABC is shown to have received a free meal.

The dinners across the state totaled more than $3,000.

The receipts show officials in Greensboro, Charlotte and the Triad ABC received the most free meals.

A representative for Diageo treated company executives and members of Mecklenburg County's ABC board to a nearly $12,700 dinner at a Charlotte restaurant in November. The board later reimbursed the company more than $9,000 for the event.

Mecklenburg County ABC Board Chairman Parks Helms resigned last week, a day after the state ABC Commission banned all gifts and dinners by liquor manufacturer and distributors to anyone involved with North Carolina's state-run alcohol sales system.

The commission also ordered local ABC boards to adopt travel policies by March 1. Because the local boards are independent agencies, the commission cannot spell out the rules to be included in their policies, but they recommended that each board use the rules its local county government uses.