GREENSBORO, N.C. - $600,000. That's a whole lot of money. Money that should've gone in part to support schools across our state. But it just vanished. That money was in the form of cars the state seized from people who had too many DWI s or sped away trying to escape police. 234 cars that were on the books at one point, but went missing.
Records provided by the state auditor's office show the missing cars included some sweet rides: A Mercedes SLK 350, Cadillac CTS, Audi A8 and a ford f-150 just to name a few. Contractors for the state were supposed to auction off those vehicles and turn part of the profits over to schools. But auditors could not find records the vehicles were ever auctioned off. Writing: "Because of the lack of documentation, it would be difficult to detect if contractors inappropriately benefited from the program. For example, they could have kept the vehicles for themselves or auctioned them off and retained all the proceeds."
While 234 missing vehicles seems like a lot, it's less than 3 percent of the cars seized between July 2013 and 2016. At the time the contractors were supposed to report to the Department of Public Instruction. And auditors say the missing vehicles were "caused by lack of departmental priority and oversight.”
DPI wrote back, "The audit report clearly uncovered problems in the program, but the information provided renders it difficult to determine the source of the problem."
Before the audit was published, the program was moved from DPI to the Department of Administration. However it was moved before these findings came out and is not related to the audit.