State News

Committee begins review of state liquor system

Posted March 9, 2010 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2010 6:11 p.m. EST

— A legislative committee began its examination on Tuesday of whether changes should be made to how North Carolina sells liquor.

The Joint Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control is charged with presenting recommendations to the full legislature when it reconvenes in May.

The 28-member panel heard Tuesday about a 2008 report suggesting the state ABC Commission needs more oversight over local stores.

Gov. Beverly Perdue and others also are interested whether it makes sense to privatize the current state-run system.

The committee, which was formed in the wake of scandals in both New Hanover and Mecklenburg counties, is also looking to establish ethical responsibility, accountability and salaries for local boards.

WRAL Investigates reported that the former New Hanover County ABC board administrator made $244,000 a year, and his son earned $135,000 as his assistant.

The Mecklenburg County ABC had to repay $9,000 to a liquor company that had picked up the tab for an expensive holiday dinner for board members, employees and their families.

The committee's next public hearing is March 24.