NC Attorney General sues Hurricane Florence contractor

Attorney General Josh Stein briefs media from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Photo via N.C. Dept. of Public Safety

RALEIGH — On the heels of a state audit critical of the monitoring of federal hurricane relief funds, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein has announced a lawsuit against a Hurricane Florence contractor.

The state audit said $502 million of Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Funds were distributed with limited monitoring and another $783 million was distributed to recipients with no way to measure results.

In an April 28 news release, Stein announced the lawsuit against Illinois-based company Green Lantern Services and its owner Dennis Daugherty for “defrauding North Carolinians who were attempting to repair storm damage after Hurricane Florence in 2018.”

“Dennis Daugherty saw North Carolinians struggling to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Florence as an opportunity to make a quick buck, we allege in our complaint,” said Josh Stein in the release. “When businesses trick their customers, I’ll take them to court.”

According to Stein’s office, the lawsuit alleges that Daugherty went door to door in the coastal region of North Carolina falsely claiming to be a licensed contractor in the wake of the storm. The lawsuit claims Daugherty asked for advance payment and, in some cases, urged homeowners to sign over insurance checks.

“NCDOJ’s Consumer Protection Division received nine complaints from customers who paid a total of more than $250,000 to the defendants,” Stein’s release says.

Throughout his tenure as attorney general, Stein has consistently made robocalls and other scams a priority, as well as filing lawsuits over opioids and e-cigarettes while supporting banning menthol cigarettes.

He has also offered support in favor of school districts being able to regulate off-campus speech for K-12 students but has remained mainly silent over U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memorandum directing the FBI to investigate parents protesting their school boards.

Stein is considered to be a likely Democratic candidate for the 2024 North Carolina governor’s race.

About A.P. Dillon 651 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_