Local Politics

Etheridge named head of state Recovery Office

Posted February 1, 2011 2:58 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2011 3:13 p.m. EST

— Former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge will head the North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment, Gov. Bev Perdue said Tuesday. 

The seven-term Democratic Congressman replaces Dempsey Benton, who stepped down in November after leading the office for more than a year and half.

“As a former congressman, Bob Etheridge knows how important it is to continue to create jobs and provide important services across the state,” Perdue said in a statement. “It is vitally important to continue to manage North Carolina recovery funds responsibly and provide oversight as projects unfold, with an eye on the state’s best use of recovery dollars in the coming months.”

Money will go through the program through at least 2012, but nearly 80 percent of the recovery funds have already been spent. Etheridge will oversee how the money is dispersed and make sure projects under contract are getting done.

In his new position, Etheridge will oversee how federal stimulus funds are dispersed and make sure projects under contract are getting done. 

“Now that the stimulus money is out in communities, I can hit the ground running as we continue to see North Carolina through these hard times," Etheridge said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the improvements in our infrastructure and maximizing our opportunities with state and local governments, small businesses and nonprofits.”

Etheridge, 69, was defeated in November by 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.