McCrory's Jobs Czar has no economic development experience, past bankruptcy issues

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Sarah Ovaska at NC Policy Watch has a great in-depth investigative report up on Governor McCrory's Jobs CzarRichard Lindenmuth.

Lindenmuth was hired in January on a $120,000 annual contract as interim CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. He had no experience in economic development, nor had he previously worked in the public sector. But Gov. Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker saw his decades of work in management-level positions at companies around the globe as the qualifications needed to bring jobs to North Carolina’s still-fragile economy.

An N.C. Policy Watch investigation into Lindenmuth’s background uncovered federal court records showing that controversy has marred his career in recent years. He placed his Raleigh consulting company, Boulder International, into bankruptcy in 2010 and had his fiduciary abilities called into question by a federal bankruptcy judge in a separate incident.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Houser, the chief bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Texas, found that Lindenmuth improperly overcharged expenses by nearly $117,000 while consulting for a home décor company undergoing bankruptcy, a situation she found “very, very troubling” and potentially criminal.

“[T]his appears to violate the criminal violations of the Bankruptcy Code, and I mean this is not right,” Houser said, according to a hearing transcript.

Court records don’t show that law enforcement ever pursued the situation, and Lindenmuth denied any wrongdoing in court records and to N.C. Policy Watch. He did, however, agree to return $250,000, nearly half of what he was paid for seven months of work at the company.

Lindenmuth is just another in a long line of McCrory appointments that either come with ethical baggage or are simply unqualified. We have to give McCrory credit for apparently checking both boxes with this appointment. For $120,000 a year, we should get more than a friend of Governor McCrory.

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