Friday, November 18, 2011

Jack Nichols- License to Steal???

Former Wake County Commissioner, Jack Nichols and the North Carolina Board of Nursing are under investigation by the North Carolina State Bar, The North Carolina Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Office and the North Carolina State Auditor. One of the 133 Counts listed in the COMPLAINT is that he stole evidence from a courthouse file. Probably the most serious charge is that he improperly orchestrated a state agency, the North Carolina Board of Nursing, to hire him as its general counsel to provide litigation services. Under state law, state agencies receive litigation support from the Attorney General's Office and its many Assistant Attorney Generals, who are paid a salary of around $40,000 a year. Nichols convinced the Board of Nursing to pay him a retainer of $5,3000 a month for litigation. Insofar as a state agency (G.S. 147-17) must receive special permission from the Attorney General to hire its own attorney for litigation; AND the Attorney General has to receive permission from the Governor to pass such litigation on to a private attorney, the complaint alleges that Nichols convinced the Board to make legislative changes to the Nursing Practice Act that halted the practice of providing a yearly summary of all agency actions, that would have notified the Governor and facilitated the discovery of the massive over payments. Before the "fix was in", the Board paid its general counsels an hourly rate to advise them during the 3 or four yearly board meetings and to review other such legal questions. The General Counsel would also advise the Disciplinary wing of the Board on any issues they had questions about. The resulting payments to the attorney was around a couple of thousand dollars a years, at most. However, Nichols basically took over the prosecution of nurses under review for disciplinary complaints and essentially became a prosecutor who was paid a bounty for each prosecution. Shortly after Jack Nichols facilitated this massive income stream, he began to run for the North Carolina Senate. His campaigned recorded over $143,000, much of which was loaned to the campaign by Nichols himself. Curious timing... By our calculations $5,300 a month is $63,600 a year. The improper retainer agreement was signed in 2007. Therefore, the State of North Carolina, which has a specific law that states a state agency cannot pay its own attorney for attorney fees associated with litigation, nevertheless, has paid Jack Nichols $318,000 [and counting]. Now THAT'S a [law] license to steal!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!
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