Corruption in the Asheville ABC Commission
The Chief Counsel to the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has handed the Asheville City Council information concerning alleged misconduct by the Asheville ABC Board and Curtis Canty, General Manager of the Asheville ABC Board. The report approaches 120 pages in length. Below I have listed some specific high points of the report.
In light of the information provided to Council, I am herewith calling for the firing of Curtis Canty and the immediate resignation of all Asheville ABC Board members. The information in the NCABCC report makes it quite clear that the current Board is either incompetent or complicit in ongoing corruption.
Here's a brief overview of the extremely well-documented charges:
1. Based on testimony from representatives of numerous liquor distributors, Canty solicited and accepted gifts of significant value from distributors. Such gifts included substantial quantities of liquor, NFL game tickets, meals, entertainment, golf clubs, and other gifts. (Gifts of any sort from liquor distributors to ABC management have been prohibited since at least 1996.)
2. Testimony from employees of the Asheville ABC Board indicate that both Canty and Board members were direct recipients of liquor from distributors.
3. Accounting records indicate that Canty and others in the employ of the Asheville ABC Board made free use of their ABC credit card accounts, including lodging, food and personal items, evidently unrelated to Board business.
4. The Asheville ABC Board provided automobiles to Canty and other employees which were used for personal purposes as well as public business. All maintenance, totalling more than $4,000, on said vehicles was done by Jan Davis Tires, while Council member Jan Davis was Council liaison to the ABC Board. The appearance of impropriety is unfortunate, but clear.
5. In total, the ABC Commission investigation charges both the Board and Canty with 59 counts of receiving undue favors, 59 counts of receiving undue compensation from distillers' representatives, selling liquor in excess of distribution permits, and other violations.
It is my view that those responsible, or those whose appointed positions required oversight, must be held accountable for corruption in our ABC system. All members of the ABC board must resign immediately, and a new City Council liaison must be appointed to monitor Board matters.