Local News

No charges expected against ex-Wake employee

Posted August 18, 2008 5:47 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2008 9:52 p.m. EDT

— After reviewing credit card records of a former Wake County recycling manager, a prosecutor said Monday that he has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing,

Craig Wittig was fired June 3 from the county's Solid Waste Management Division after an internal review raised questions about travel expenses for 46 trips since he was hired in 2006.

Wittig has said that each trip – to Disney World and Las Vegas and one trip that included whale-watching on the coast of Maine – were to research environmental programs in other parts of the country so that Wake County could develop a state-of-the art recycling program.

County Manager David Cooke turned over Wittig's county credit-card records to the Wake County District Attorney's Office last month.

Cooke said Wittig's work-related expenses from April 2006 to April 2008 totaled $37,350.46. The county considers more than $19,000 of that amount questionable and nearly $10,000 recoverable, he said.

Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings said Monday that he's told Cooke that, based on the records he reviewed, a criminal investigation wasn't warranted.

Authorities had said earlier that criminal charges would be hard to pursue because Wittig's former boss approved the trips.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners has ordered an audit of all county departments for the past year and the Environmental Services Department for the past two years to determine if there was any other questionable spending.