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Buncombe leaders may not know full details of county manager investigation

Photo credit: WLOS

A letter from Buncombe County leaders indicates they may not "know the whole story” behind the federal investigation into former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene.

In an open records request, News 13 has just obtained a copy of a letter sent out to county employees shortly after word broke that Greene was under federal investigation.

County attorney Michael Frue wrote county employees several directives to follow.

The county encouraged employees not to talk to the press about the issue. County officials warned employees, “do not ever assume that your comments are 'off the record.'”

The letter goes on to say that “There are many rumors floating around. None of us knows the whole story, and until this investigation is completed we cannot impede or obstruct the investigation.”

The county finished with, “even a casual remark or a slip of the tongue could have serious consequences.”

The entire letter is below:

August 18, 2017
Good morning -
Last evening WLOS reported the following:
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — News 13 has just confirmed there is a federal investigation into former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office confirms that there is a federal investigation involving Ms. Wanda Greene and others. The U.S. Attorney's Office has requested that the county place a litigation hold on all county materials pertaining to this matter," U.S. Attorney Jill W. Rose said in a statement issued late Thursday afternoon.
We are writing to remind staff of the following:
As an employee of the County, no staff should be talking to the press about this issue. Often times the best comment is, “no comment”
Do not ever assume that your comments are “off the record”
All public records requests from any source should be forwarded to me.
There are many rumors floating around. None of us knows the whole story, and until this investigation is completed we can not impede or obstruct the investigation. This is not meant at all to imply that any County employee would do so, but even casual remarks or a slip of the tongue could have serious consequences. With that in mind, please remember that we need every employee to follow these directives.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Sincerely;
Michael C. Frue


Greene retired on July 1, 2017.

Greene's son resigned the same day the U.S Attorney's office confirmed it was investigating his mother.

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