Local News

Legislature Looking Into Toomer Settlement

Posted January 15, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— It's been months since former Division of Motor Vehicles employee Algie Toomer received a $100,000 settlement. Thursday, a legislative committee is trying to find out why he got the money in the first place.

Former North Carolina Transportation Secretary Garland Garrett was scheduled to testify Thursday. He was just replaced by former Commerce Secretary Norris Tolson at the DOT.

The NC House Personnel Committee has been reviewing the ongoing scandal surrounding Toomer and his settlement for about 10 months. The investigation centers around the settlement Toomer received from the state after he alleged harassment at the hands of his superiors at the DMV. Garrett was expected to testify about his role as Toomer's supervisor.

The committee has a problem. Last week, Toomer refused to honor a subpoena to appear, and was held in contempt. Thursday, two other witnesses refused to appear. Committee members say they will appeal to a superior court judge to determine what action they can take to ensure that their subpoenas are legally sound.

It was expected that Garrett would be questioned about allegations that he refused to sign off on that $100,000 check, but that he ordered another staffer to do so. He testified to that before this committee once before, but some testimony from others has conflicted with his.

The committee is also trying to establish a means to avoid this kind of situation in the future.

Photographer:Joe Frieda