Welfare Fraud Wesley Mum On Allegations At Candidates' Forum
At a forum last night, State Senator Wesley Meredith continued to dodge questions about the allegations he took tens of thousands of dollars in welfare money while he made close to $100,000. From the Fayetteville Observer article,
State Sen. Wesley Meredith had little to say about allegations of welfare fraud when asked about them by a moderator at a candidate forum Thursday.
"The only thing I'd like to say is the investigation has been held, and the investigation is closed," said Meredith, a Republican seeking his third term.
Meredith had previously said the Cumberland County Department of Social Services ended an investigation into the matter and decided to take no further action.
Democratic challenger Billy Richardson first raised allegations at a press conference Sept. 30 that 18 years ago Meredith "actively caused or knowingly allowed" his newborn son to receive Medicaid benefits for which the family was not eligible.
Beth Longbottom Meredith, who was then Meredith's wife, said the next day that the couple went to the county Department of Social Services together in 1996 and applied for welfare benefits for which they may not have been eligible.
Meredith has called the allegations a personal attack that is "below the belt." In previous interviews, he has said he does not remember his son being signed up for Medicaid or what his income was at that time.
Richardson wasn't asked about the allegations during the forum Thursday, but he addressed the issue in his closing statement.
Richardson said he'd let the voters decide why Meredith wasn't talking about the matter.
"His silence is deafening," Richardson said.