RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been one week since news broke that North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood is facing multiple charges after leaving the scene of a December crash.
According to court documents, Wood hit a parked 2016 Toyota Sedan in downtown Raleigh at about 9:12 p.m. on Dec. 8. On Jan. 18, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman confirmed Wood’s charges from the wreck, including a Class 2 misdemeanor for hit-and-run, leaving the scene, property damage, and an infraction for unsafe movement.
A video posted on social media by a pedestrian who happened to notice the crash, captured the moments following the collision.
Larry Beam told CBS 17 he noticed a state-owned car was involved but added that he didn’t know at the time exactly what he was recording.
“I looked over after hearing the sound of a car scraping something and they were all screaming, ‘get her out of here,’” Beam added.
In the video, Wood appears to be taken into the Edmisten and Webb law firm where there was a party that night, according to people familiar with the event. Wood said earlier this week she had attended a holiday gathering for a couple hours before the crash.
When police arrived at the scene, a report says they could not locate Wood or anyone who’d witnessed the crash. The report noted there was surveillance video.
When CBS 17 reached out for a statement from Woods in response to the video, her attorney, Roger Smith Jr. said, “Ms. Wood is taking full responsibility for her actions and is cooperating with authorities.”
It’s not clear how much time passed between the crash and when police were able to ask Wood about what happened. She was charged four days later.
CBS17 asked Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman if investigators were aware of the video before this week and if anyone else could be charged in the case, but have not received a response.
“You’re someone that is an elected official. You have a position of integrity and here you are avoiding something that if myself or you did, we’d be in jail,” said Beam.
Gov. Roy Cooper (D) was asked about the video this week and whether he thinks Wood should resign. At the time, he said he had not seen the video.
“Obviously, this is a troubling situation. I’m glad she has addressed this matter publicly,” Cooper said. “This is a matter that is currently under investigation and that should continue to proceed.”
The North Carolina Republican Party called on Wood to resign Monday. However, leading Republicans in the General Assembly did not go that far when asked about the issue Wednesday.
“Auditor Wood has for a number of years done what I think both Republicans and Democrats would say is an exceptional job,” said Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “The events of December really call into question a lot of things.”
He said the decision should rest with voters.
“You know, I dare say there are folks who are in elected positions in North Carolina who have been convicted of far worse offenses than leaving the scene of an accident,” he added.
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) also did not call for Wood to resign.
“I think the court process needs to play itself out and then deal with it at that point,” Moore said. “I don’t believe in just kind of piling on on something like that. I’d hate to be in that situation, I’ll tell you that.”