‘We’ve had enough of the crooks,’ new Wake County register of deeds says

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It could still be months before it’s known who, if anybody, will be charged in the disappearance of more than $500,000 in Wake County.

An audit revealed $600,000 is missing from the Wake County Register of Deeds office for 2015 and 2016.

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For the new Wake County Register of Deeds Charles Gilliam, it’s important that the public knows what is taking place in the office.

“Our books have been balancing every day and we are accounting for all of the money,” said Gilliam. “We’ve had enough of the crooks in the Register of Deeds office.”

Wake County Commissioners appointed Gilliam, a former district court judge, to the Register of Deeds office in April after the retirement of Laura Riddick.

Citing health issues, she announced her retirement a day after county leaders held a press conference about the missing money. The case remains under investigation.

“The way we do things now is everything has to be done out in the open,” said Gilliam.

The Register of Deeds office records paperwork for real estate transactions, marriage licenses and birth and death certificates.

Gilliam said the transactions are documented and everything is balanced at the end of the day and quadruple checked through several sets of eyes.

“You want the person who is being checked to watch the checker,” said Gilliam.

CBS North Carolina asked Gilliam if there was any chance of what happened before at the Register of Deeds office happening again.

“As long as I’m here, there’s not a chance, because there’s no possibility that I’m going to allow anybody or any authority or any person to do anything crooked around here anymore,” he responded.

Wake County attorneys will file insurance claims in August to try to recoup the money that is missing.

So far, no one has been charged in connection with the case. CBS North Carolina was unable to reach Riddick for comment.

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