RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh license plate agency closed after state officials accused the private contractor operating the agency of “gross incompetence” and said more than $72,000 in state funds was deposited into the owner’s personal account.
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles laid out the allegations in a letter to the contractor, Southeast Raleigh Management Services, that operated the New Bern Avenue office.
The letter accuses the contractor of a high error rate, but does note that the deposit of state funds into the owner’s account was later corrected.
The husband of the company’s owner said DMV did give the operation the support it needed and that 15 people with his wife’s company will lose their jobs.
“They did not give us the proper tools or assistance to be successful,” said Rudolph Morton. His wife, Sheryl Morton, owns Southeast Raleigh Management Services.
He denied any discrepancies in deposits. He said the DMV provided minimal training for the job the company was expected to perform.
CBS North Carolina asked why the company was selected if it didn’t have experience with similar work.
“That wasn’t a requirement, to have any experience in this business,” Morton said.
DMV officials confirmed that the division offers to train contractors that lack experience if they’re selected to run an office.
A DMV spokesman said this company received training on multiple occasions.
The office will reopen Monday with DMV employees running the show.
“It only impacts the public for today,” said John Brockwell, DMV spokesman. “The office is only closed for today.”
Just a couple weeks ago, the state closed an office in Chapel Hill. In 2014 and 2015, there also were locations that closed in Vance and Stokes County.
Brockwell said what happened at the Raleigh office is not indicative of any larger issue.
“We have very, very good contractors across the state,” he said. “They do a fantastic job.”