Asheville, NC — New information in the federal indictments against former Buncombe County manager Wanda Greene.
While Greene's federal trial appears on hold through Thanksgiving, a separate new civil complaint against her, a contractor and two former county managers is moving forward.
The U.S. government accuses them of accepting gifts and trips in exchange for county contracts.
Buncombe County is again trying to recoup tax dollars lost, this time for expensive trips and other alleged kickbacks.
In a motion, accepted Monday by a federal judge in Charlotte, Greene’s attorney’s motion asks for additional time to prepare. Greene faces three indictments pending before the federal court. In the motion, Noell Tin, Greene’s attorney, also says it has, “reached an agreement in principal, that will resolve all cases,” making a trial unnecessary. The U.S. Attorney's office wouldn't comment specifically on an agreement, instead saying the investigation is ongoing.
In a separate court action in Buncombe County, the county has filed a civil complaint against Greene, former manager Mandy Stone and former assistant county manager Jon Creighton, as well as Joseph Wiseman, the contractor named in the federal indictment and his company Environmental Infrastructure Consulting, based in Georgia.
The county's civil complaint follows the 32-count federal indictment in which Greene, Stone and Creighton have pleaded not guilty. Wiseman has not been charged in the alleged kickback scheme. The civil filings claim Wisemen and his company received more than $1 million in county contracts in exchange for sporting event tickets, spa treatments and vacations in the U.S. and around the world for Greene, Stone and Creighton, at the company's expense.
As part of the alleged scheme, the county's complaint claims the defendants used "deception and misrepresentation" to get Buncombe County to unknowingly reimburse the expenses Wiseman's company received in exchange for the alleged kickbacks.
The county makes nine claims for relief, among them that the county is entitled to $1.7 million dollars in contracts awarded to Wiseman's company, which the complaint claims were "illegal and void public contracts" because of the gifts.
The county's also asking for 10 percent of the total contract price from the defendants.
In the remaining seven claims for relief, the county is asking for damages, “in excess of $25,000" for each of the seven claims that include deceptive trade acts, several counts of fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, racketeering and unjust enrichment,
As for a total of what Buncombe County is seeking from these defendants, that's still unknown. While the county's attorney asked for some relief, it's still sorting through records to account for vacation days that should have been used for those trips, but weren't, only to be cashed out according to the indictments when Greene, Creighton and Stone retired from Buncombe County.
Here's the complaint: