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North Carolina auditor Beth Wood 'regrets' actions that led to hit-and-run charge

 State auditor Beth Wood at a Raleigh GOTV event on Oct. 21, 2020.
via Flickr
State auditor Beth Wood at a Raleigh GOTV event on Oct. 21, 2020.

Ahead of her appearance in Wake County District Court on Thursday, North Carolina auditor Beth Wood released a statement Monday morning explaining her actions that led to her being charged with hit-and-run and unsafe movement.

Wood, 68, was cited Dec. 12 for a collision that occurred four days before that resulted in property damage to the parked sedan, according to a Wake County court citation. Raleigh police accused Wood of hit-and-run — leaving the scene and property damage — and for an unsafe movement infraction, court records show.

On Dec. 8, Wood said, she attended a holiday party in downtown Raleigh for about two hours. When she left, she said she "inadvertently" hit a parked car. According to the citation, the collision happened about 9 p.m. on South Salisbury Street.

According to WRAL, Wood's state-owned Toyota Camry was left at the scene with the engine running.

"I was shaken by the incident and, when I was unable to move my vehicle, I left the scene," Wood said in the statement. "That was a serious mistake and I regret my decision."

Wood said she told the State Motor Fleet Management about the accident the next day.

"I sincerely regret my actions and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement," Wood's statement continued. "I apologize to the owner of the car I hit, my staff and all I serve for leaving the scene of the accident. I have learned from this mistake and am fully accepting personal responsibility for my actions."

In the emailed statement, a spokesperson said Wood is unavailable for interviews at this time.

Someone without a previous criminal record would face no active jail time for a hit-and-run misdemeanor but could face probation. An unsafe movement count can be punishable by a fine.

Wood, a Democrat, was elected in 2008. She has been re-elected three times, most recently in 2020. She previously worked in the auditor's office and state treasurer's office.

The Associated Press and WUNC's Will Michaels contributed to this report.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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