Wake County manager retires as Register of Deeds investigation continues

Retiring Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann refused to answer our questions about a recent audit that showed $2.3 million was missing from the Register of Deeds Office (Lauren Haviland/CBS North Carolina)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After three and a half years as Wake County manager, Jim Hartmann’s last day is Friday.

He said he would be stepping down back in August.

In his resignation letter he wrote, “I spent last weekend in Omaha, Nebraska at my daughter’s wedding. After I walked her down the aisle and celebrated this monumental milestone with my family, it was clear that now is the right time for me to transition my career.”

Hartmann previously said his resignation was not related to the investigation into the Register of Deeds Office, where an audit revealed that $2.3 million was missing.

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On his last day, he refused to speak with CBS North Carolina on camera.

When asked why, he told our reporter Lauren Haviland, “because I don’t have to anymore.”

Wake County Commission Chairman Sig Hutchinson did talk to us.

Hutchinson said he was surprised Hartmann was leaving after only a few years, but that it had nothing to do with the investigation .

“That had absolutely nothing to do with Jim’s retirement,” Hutchinson said. “That is an ongoing investigation. We have dealt with that internally with the Wake County Commission. We had a very extensive work session, as well as public meeting on what actually happened with that. We are satisfied. We have built systems in place so it will never happen again.”

Hutchinson said the investigation should be wrapped up in the coming weeks or months.

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