Local Politics

ABC commissioner resigns over illustration

Posted May 5, 2009 5:06 p.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Chairman Doug Fox resigned under pressure Tuesday after Gov. Beverly Perdue's office learned that he had forwarded a racially charged photo illustration after the November election.

Fox forwarded an e-mail from his law firm account shortly after Barack Obama was elected president. In the message, a picture of the White House included a giant watermelon patch on the South Lawn and the phrase "There goes the neighborhood...." above the photo.

Perdue indicated in a statement that the resignation was linked to the e-mail.

“I have accepted Doug Fox’s letter of resignation,” she said. “E-mails and images of this nature are offensive and unacceptable.”

Fox suggested in his resignation letter, however, that he was leaving voluntarily.

“I believe it is time to surrender the helm to someone new,” he wrote.

A spokesman for Perdue said the resignation was effective immediately. There was no word on appointing a successor.

North Carolina is one of 19 states that control liquor sales. The state ABC Commission handles violations of state liquor laws and sets prices, but local boards operate ABC stores.