Former Manteo Commissioner Benefited From Contract, According To State Auditor Report

Dec 19, 2019

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A report from the state auditor's office says a former town commissioner in Manteo benefited from a contract that he voted to approve while in office. The state auditor says the former commissioner, Hannon Fry, received $12,500 from a dredging contract and he failed to disclose his conflict of interest. 

Fry collected a check from a former mayor, Lee Tugwell, after Tugwell's company was paid $25,000 for a land lease related to the dredging project.

In the state auditor's report, Tugwell describes the payment as a gift, and says it was not made public because people would connect it to the dredging operation.

The auditor says the matter has been referred to the local district attorney, but it's not yet clear if Fry will face criminal charges.

The report also says the town's finance officer, Shannon Twiddy, did not properly justify the payment and might have caused Manteo to overpay. Neither Fry nor Twiddy responded to requests for comment.

The town manager says he's trying to recover the $25,000.