Reaction after amount missing from Wake County office balloons to $2.3 million

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The dollar amount keeps rising.

The amount of money missing in the Wake County Register of Deeds investigation is now at more than $2.3 million during a nine-year stretch, from 2008 to 2017, documents obtained by CBS North Carolina revealed.

Wake County is trying to recoup that money through an insurance claim.  Even if the county gets it back, County Attorney Scott Warren said it is not known what the impact will be to insurance rates or if the county can continue with the same type of insurance coverage.


“I’m angry about it that somebody stole money from Wake County taxpayers,” said John Burns, Wake County Commissioner.  Somebody stole money from people who deposited money in an office expecting it to go to where it was supposed to be.”

Burns did not hide how he feels about the what happened at the Wake County Register of Deeds office.

“It’s way too much,” said Burns.  “Any amount of money that is used in a way other than what it’s supposed to be used is of concern.”

Documents show employees conducted their own sting operation on the previous Register of Deeds Laura Riddick.  Records indicate they prepared deposits and counted money before giving it to her and then each day they did so, some money went missing.  Riddick retired citing health reasons.

CBS North Carolina stopped by Riddick’s home Tuesday and a man was about to answer the door but walked away when he saw it was a news crew.

The county’s insurance filing names Troy Ellis III and possibly other employees not yet identified as responsible for the theft.

Documents reflect Ellis previously admitted to taking $50,000.

CBS North Carolina also stopped by Ellis’ home Tuesday but the person who answered the door said we could not speak with him.

The taxpayers that we spoke with said they’re upset with what happened, too.

“Where’s the money,” asked Christopher Eaddy, Raleigh resident.  “We could use it for some of these roads and for schools.”

So far, no one has been charged and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the case remains under investigation.

Burns said he wants the public to know the county is taking every step it can to make sure this is addressed and will not happen again.  He said that includes working on giving the county more financial oversight over the Register of Deeds office.

...[READ MORE]   Source: WNCN Durham County News