RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Democratic North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood released a statement Monday morning in response to facing multiple charges related to leaving the scene of a December crash.
A spokesperson for Wood, who is in her fourth term as auditor, previously said Thursday she had no comment on the matter. CBS 17 also contacted an attorney for Wood on Thursday and did not hear back.
Her statement released Monday comes after a billboard emerged in Youngsville over the weekend, calling for her resignation.
As of Saturday, people reported seeing the billboard on the corner of US-1 and NC-96.
Wood’s full statement was sent to CBS 17 on Monday:
“On the evening of December 8, 2022, I attended a holiday gathering in downtown Raleigh. I was at the event for approximately two hours. When I left, I made a sharp right turn and inadvertently hit a parked car. I was shaken by the incident and, when I was unable to move my vehicle, I left the scene. That was a serious mistake and I regret my decision.
The next morning, I notified State Motor Fleet Management that I was involved in an accident and subsequently was cited by police for unsafe movement and for failing to provide my name and other information to the owner of the car or a law enforcement officer.
I sincerely regret my actions and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement. I have served the people of North Carolina as their State Auditor since 2009. I made a mistake in judgment on December 8, but I am committed to continuing to perform my duties with the same energy and determination I am known for.
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.”Beth A. Wood, North Carolina State Auditor
In response to her statement, Chris Valverde — whose car she’s charged with hitting — provided the following statement to CBS 17:
“Mrs. Wood has made her bed and now has to sleep in it. I just hope that the justice system is fair and impartial when handling this case and not use her position as a privilege to skate out of it unscathed. What she did is wrong. Not only the hit and run, but the lack of communication with me and the people of North Carolina as well. Her silence speaks volumes of her character and how she handles tough situations, I can only imagine how she handles tough situations when it comes to the duties and responsibilities of being the state auditor.”Chris Valverde
The North Carolina Republican Party also responded to Wood’s statement, calling for her to resign.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s press secretary Sam Chan released a statement Monday afternoon about the situation:
“This was a troubling incident and the Governor is glad that the Auditor has addressed it publicly. The Governor has not communicated with her about it. There’s an investigation and court proceeding going on and he believes it’s appropriate for that to proceed,” Chan said.
Wood, North Carolina’s auditor since 2009, is facing a Class 2 misdemeanor for hit-and-run, as well as, leaving the scene, property damage and an infraction for unsafe movement, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told CBS 17.
According to court documents, Wood hit a parked 2016 Toyota Sedan in downtown Raleigh at about 9:12 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8.
The documents said she turned from a direct line on South Salisbury Street and West Hargett Street while driving a 2021 Toyota Sedan and hit the vehicle.
Valverde said his daughter borrowed his car the night of the incident to get to work downtown.
Wood was charged on Dec. 12, according to court documents.
She has a court date set for Jan. 26.