RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Days after she was indicted for her use of a state vehicle, North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood has announced she will resign from her position.
Wood said she would resign Dec. 15, before the end of her term which was scheduled to end next year.
“I made this decision because we have such a great team doing incredibly important work and I don’t want to be a distraction. It has been an honor and privilege to work with such a talented staff and to serve the citizens of this great state,” Wood said in a statement.
A Wake County grand jury indicted Wood on Tuesday for using a state-owned vehicle for private use, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said. This follows an eight-month investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.
With Wood stepping down, state statute requires Governor Roy Cooper to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. This person would act as State Auditor until voters decide on an auditor in the 2024 election. Wood had previously announced she would not run for re-election in 2024.
The grand jury indictment claims Wood used an assigned state-owned car for private purposes, including hair appointments and dental appointments out of town, traveling to shopping centers and spas where she wasn’t working in her official capacity.
When asked if her resignation was related to a plea agreement in the case, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she could not confirm or deny this was the case.
Wood is a Certified Public Accountant who has served four terms as North Carolina’s elected State Auditor.
In December 2022, Wood was at the wheel of a state-owned vehicle when it struck a parked car. Video from that night showed her vehicle went on top of the car’s hood. She can be seen walking into a law office moments later.
In March, Wood pleaded guilty to the hit-and-run and admitted in court she drank the night of the crash. The auditor, however, did not give in to calls for her resignation at that time. Wood told CBS 17’s Michael Hyland last week that the incident was a factor in her designation to not run in 2024.
At that time she said, “The incident in December, it’s over. It didn’t define who I am. It wasn’t anything about who I was or who I am or how well I can do the job.” Wood cited her age and her desire to pursue other avenues for her career.