Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tillett subject of pending proceedings

A panel of the North Carolina Judicial Standards Commission has filed a complaint against Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett. The 13-page complaint will now be forwarded to another JSC panel for trial. The second panel can dispose of the matter in a number of ways including dismissal, public reprimand or forward to the North Carolina Supreme Court for consideration of removing Tillett from the bench.

To read the complaint filed against the judge, click here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Property Revaluation 101

   Dare County’s current $101 million budget is funded with a variety of sources, including federal and state money, grants, fees collected, and tax revenues derived from property taxes.

   Property tax revenues in the current budget total $49 million, slightly less than half the amount needed to pay for the total current budget that expires on June 30, 2013.

   During the last few years, foreclosures, the recession, and damage and/or loss of properties from storms has forced property values down from $17 billion to $12 billion.

  If the current tax rate of 28 cents per $100 is applied against the total of the new property values, the resulting revenues would be just $33.6 million – a $15.4 million shortfall in supporting the current budget of $101 million.

  To read the full explanation posted on Island Free Press, click here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hamlin sentenced; order sealed

    Former Bank of America vice president, Loren Hamlin was sentenced on Friday, Feb. 8 in federal court held in Raleigh. Although the sentence was written on the docket report, the plea agreement has been sealed by the court. Below is the entry from the court docket. For more information, see previous post.

    "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III in Raleigh: Defendant present with counsel and Assistant U.S. Attorney present for USA - Defendant sworn. Sentencing held on 2/8/2013 for Loren F. Hamlin (1). Count 1: Bureau of Prisons - 78 months - Supervised Release - 5 years with special conditions imposed - Special Assessment - $100.00 due in full immediately - Restitution - $12,010,536.00 due in full immediately - Interest Waived. Recommendations by the Court: Receive intensive substance abuse treatment - Place of incarceration at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina. Defendant advised of appeal rights. Allowed to self report as directed."

   Reporting to prison delayed. Click here for order.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Former Bank of America vice president to be sentenced Feb. 8

   More than six years after being fired from Bank of America's Kitty Hawk branch for his role in what is estimated to be a $13 million fraud, Loren Hamlin is scheduled to be sentenced in Federal Court on Friday, Feb. 8.
   During the six years since the discovery of the fraud, multiple law suits have been filed in both state and federal courts. The investment scheme that went awry has led to at least two bankruptcies filed as well as civil suits between various parties.
   And in a related case, a State Bar disciplinary hearing is set for March to consider complaints filed against former Kill Devil Hills Town Attorney Dan Merrell for a portion of his role in the matter.
   A plea deal for Hamlin was filed with the court about a year ago but has been kept under seal. The matter was set for hearing at that time, but the court agreed to a continuance so that a large piece of property in Perquirmans County that had been purchased with the absconded funds could be sold and placed against the amount of restitution. When the property sold at just a fraction of its original purchase price, another continuation was requested while attorneys for Hamlin apparently tried to change the portion of the plea agreement that dealt with the amount of restitution. And yet another continuation was granted after Hamlin informed the court that he was without legal representation because he could no longer afford to pay his attorney.
   Yesterday, in a flurry of last-minute filings, Hamlin's attorney asked the court to reduce the amount of his active sentence, but federal prosecutors countered with a filing opposing such a deal.
   Although the plea agreement is still sealed, the filings entered on Feb. 6 hint at what the terms may be and give Hamlin's version of what led to the theft.
   To read the request for reduced sentence, click here.
   To read the prosecutor's response, click here.