Local News

Hoke County opens internal investigation into payroll irregularities

Posted March 1, 2017 11:56 a.m. EST

— Hoke County officials will conduct an internal investigation in addition to an investigation by state police into alleged payroll irregularities that briefly shut down county offices last month and led to the resignation of one employee and the firing of another.

The State Bureau of Investigation took control of country offices on Feb. 20 to look into time sheets and other pay records of fewer than five county employees. Days later, LaTonya Benjamin, the county's human resources director, resigned and another employee was was fired.

In a news release on Wednesday, Hoke County officials announced their own investigation into the case. An outside accounting firm was hired to assist the investigation.

County officials said they will also reinstate an employee who first reported the irregularities to law enforcement, calling the employees firing "shortsighted." Once reinstated, the employee will be placed on administrative leave with full pay and benefits pending the conclusion of the county's investigation.

The employee's identity was not released.