According to a factual basis document filed on July 30 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Ellen Frost will likely admit to one count of conspiracy to commit federal program fraud, for which the maximum prison term is five years. Frost’s court date is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 17.
As outlined in a presentation available before the meeting by Jeremiah LeRoy, the county’s sustainability officer, the projects could save Buncombe County, A-B Tech, Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools roughly $27.2 million in total electricity costs over the next 30 years.
“Buncombe County owes Mike Fryar a huge thank-you for his service of many years as a county commissioner, who personally led the way to save us millions of dollars by doggedly questioning and demanding answers to cost overruns and unlawful spending by county leadership …”
“While it is true that the recent Wanda Greene et al. scandal was a gross example of greed and entitlement gone wild, I was very disappointed that your editors thought it is funny to mock people who have been tried, justly convicted and are paying their debt to society.”
Xpress imagines just what former County Manager Wanda Greene and her fellow corrupt ex-Buncombe County officials have been up to since reporting for federal prison last year — featuring Mandy Stone’s recipe for toilet wine!
Speaking at a Dec. 17 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, attorney Ron Payne said that Stanley had been accused in a sworn deposition by former Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton of improperly accepting unspecified “things of value” from former county contractor Joseph Wiseman Jr.
During their Dec. 3 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners were told that while corrective measures to right years of financial mishandling are beginning to take hold, the county’s most recent audit still reflects the previous mismanagement.
After former Buncombe County Commissioner Holly Jones finished her questions about an allegedly improper $20,000 allocation of county money to build an animal barn at Charles D. Owen High School, her colleague Ellen Frost messaged then-County Manager Wanda Greene: “Like you said earlier, silence is a beautiful sound.”
During a Nov. 19 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, attorney Ron Payne said the settlement would bring the suit to an end, “hopefully in somewhat of an expeditious manner.” All six commissioners present were in favor of accepting the settlement, with Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferrara absent for the vote.
As she wrapped up her work on the AVL Greater and AVL 5×5 2025 plans in late September, we chatted with futurist Rebecca Ryan about her upcoming encore keynote address at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s WomanUP gala on Thursday, Nov. 18, what makes Asheville and Buncombe County different and how we’ll know if the area is on track to make good on the new strategies.
Potentially without review by other county staff members or commissioners, former County Manager Wanda Greene cut Stacey Woody’s pay by nearly $16,000 after Woody questioned an allegedly illegal $125,000 invoice for sponsorship of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The relevant section of Buncombe’s personnel ordinance still stands, giving the same power to current County Manager Avril Pinder.
Calling former County Manager Wanda Greene’s activities a “tragic waste on a personal level” with “horrific consequences for the county of Buncombe,” U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad sentenced her to 7 years in federal prison and ordered her to pay a $100,000 fine. Co-conspirators Michael Greene, Mandy Stone, Jon Creighton and Joseph Wiseman, Jr., all received active prison time, a year of supervised release and a financial penalty.
At the heart of the case against Ellen Frost, who was first elected to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in 2012 and served through 2018, are roughly $575,000 in county funds that she and former County Manager Wanda Greene allegedly funneled to support “various equestrian enterprises in North Carolina and Florida.”
Minneapolis-based CliftonLarsonAllen conducted roughly 2,700 hours of work — over three times its original estimate of 885 hours — from July 1 through May 14, when CLA principal Bill Early presented the results to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.
Following federal investigations into former County Manager Wanda Greene and others, Buncombe County has recouped more than $3 million through legal settlements with former county officials. That total could increase during a Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting this month.
Joseph Wiseman, Jr., a former Buncombe County contractor implicated in a kickback scheme that has led to charges against three former county officials, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Avril Pinder, the former deputy county manager for New Hanover County, to the role of county manager during a special meeting on Feb. 5. The county anticipates that her first day will be Monday, March 4.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on the selection of a new county manager during a special meeting at 4 p.m. Feb. 5. in the third floor conference room at 200 College St. in downtown Asheville.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has accepted a $189,000 settlement from former Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton, who pled guilty in October for his part in a kickback scheme involving himself and two other former managers.