Rural Center board delays discussion on president's $240k severa - WRBL

Rural Center board delays discussion on president's $240k severance

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The Rural Center's board of directors is still trying to figure out if it should pay nearly a quarter million dollars in severance to its retired president. The Rural Center's board of directors is still trying to figure out if it should pay nearly a quarter million dollars in severance to its retired president.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The North Carolina Rural Center's board of directors is still trying to figure out if it should pay nearly a quarter million dollars in severance to its retired president.

Billy Ray Hall resigned under pressure, but says he wants to collect about $240,000 in severance that was set aside for him by the Center's executive board.

Last month, the board's lawyer said the severance package that was created in 2003 might not have been set up according to legal guidelines.

The lawyer recommended the board to hire an outside consultant to see what it should do given the possibility of an IRS audit or lawsuit from Hall.

Today, at its monthly meeting, the board was told the consultant is still working on the issue; so it will wait until its next meeting, hoping the consultant will have its report ready by then.

Because there is a possibility of a lawsuit from Hall, or an IRS audit regarding that severance package, the head of the board's transition committee said it needs to know exactly what it is doing before deciding to award that financial package.

"It's in our best interest and certainly in the best interest of Mr. Hall to make sure that we've done all our due diligence as it relates to tax liabilities, penalties, on his side or ours," said Brian Crutchfield. "We want to do what's right for the Center as well as what's right and appropriate for Mr. Hall."

The board could make a decision on Hall's severance package at its next meeting on Nov. 18 if the consultant has finished its report by then.

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