Audit: Hertford elections director violated purchase policies

Stickers await voters after they cast their votes on Election Day. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

RALEIGH — A new investigative audit conducted by the N.C. State Auditor’s office has fund the Hertford County elections director violated purchase policies. The audit was promoted by two allegations submitted to the agency’s tipline. 

The audit found that the Hertford County director of elections violated policy by purchasing $19,995 in services from a company, RA Enterprises, LLC, owned by the former Chairman of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners. The purchases involved sanitization and cleaning during the pandemic.  

The timeline of purchase issues spans from July to October 2020. At that time, the elections director for the county was Shelia Privott. She is still listed in that capacity on the county’s website. 

According to the audit, the elections director failed to obtain “approved purchase orders for services from the former Chairman’s company despite the county’s prohibition against purchasing from a company in which a county employee has a financial interest.” 

She also failed to obtain quotes from other vendors for services under $5,000 as well as failing to solicit competitive bids for services over $5,000. 

The audit recommends disciplinary action for the elections director and for the Hertford County Board of Commissioners to develop disclosure processes for companies where a commission member may have an ownership interest. 

Hertford County Commissioners response to the audit said they have “reviewed and acknowledged” the audit’s findings and have “immediately and proactively implemented internal fiscal control measures” to fix the issues raised in the audit.  

About A.P. Dillon 1297 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_