WRAL Investigates

Distiller gets time to detail dinners for N.C. ABC boards

Posted January 20, 2010 3:41 p.m. EST
Updated January 20, 2010 5:36 p.m. EST

— A liquor company at the center of a controversial dinner involving Mecklenburg County Alcoholic Beverage Control members got an extension Wednesday to provide receipts for other dinners it provided to ABC boards across the state.

The state ABC Commission's attorneys met with attorneys for Diageo and agreed to give the company until the end of the week to produce the receipts.

A representative for Diageo treated company executives and members of Mecklenburg County's ABC board to a $12,700 dinner at a Charlotte restaurant in November. The board later reimbursed the company more than $9,000 for the event.

Mecklenburg County ABC Board Chairman Parks Helms resigned last week, a day after the state ABC Commission banned all gifts and dinners by liquor manufacturer and distributors to anyone involved with North Carolina's state-run alcohol sales system.

The commission also urged local ABC boards, which are independent agencies, to adopt travel restrictions and gift bans.

"At the end of the day, I'm going to fire everybody I can fire who is involved in bad behavior," Gov. Beverly Perdue said Wednesday. "I would urge you to take that strong same stand at the local level and to work with me."