Wanda Greene comes outside as News13 arrives
News 13 cameras catch up with former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene, who we now know is being investigated for fraud.
A federal search warrant shows Greene is being investigated for buying personal items on the taxpayer's dime, and having them sent to her Arden home.
According to the warrant, the SBI received a request to investigate Greene just days after she retired this summer.
Since the warrant mentions Greene's house, News 13 crews stopped by on Tuesday. She came outside just as a News 13's car parked. Here's the raw video:
Cell phone video captured Greene retrieving her recycling bin. She was holding a phone to her ear, and did not reply to questions seeking comment. Greene went inside her home without saying anything to News 13.
A search warrant accuses Greene of buying personal items this April on county credit cards, and having those items shipped to her Arden home. The warrant lists items including twin-sized bed quilts, a Tic Tac Toe wall hanging, and an arm chair.
The warrant also cites two employees who worked as Greene's administrative assistant at different times. One employee told investigators Greene asked for and received photo copies of the front and back of her county credit card. The warrant said Greene bought things with their cards, and they would receive a receipt from Greene after the fact.
The warrant says Greene also asked one of the employees to buy more than $40,000 worth of gift cards for her. These were purchased over three years. The search warrant states, "The disposition of these gift cards is not known."
County Attorney Michael Frue says there are currently 240 employees with a county credit card. The county's "procurement card" policy states, "Cardholders should not allow anyone else to use their card. A violation of this trust may result in cardholders having their card revoked and disciplinary action taken." More on the policy here:
Via a record request, News 13 learned the two former administrative assistants for Greene still work for Buncombe County. County Commissioner Ellen Frost told News 13 the two employees knew if they didn't do what Greene wanted, they would be fired.
News 13 is also learning more about how the investigation began. Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams says Frue approached him with materials to review. After doing so, Williams says he then asked the SBI to investigate, then the FBI got involved, and then the U.S. Attorney's office. That investigation was confirmed in mid-August.