RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The vendor in charge of the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center is firing back at Sheriff Gerald Baker after he terminated their contract citing concerns with profitability.
Fred Stough has seemingly served as a permanent fixture at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center since it opened more than two decades ago.
“I enjoy it,” said Stough. “It’s something I look forward too because I’m a competitive shooter.”
His company started running the range in 2009, but his role is being ended by Baker.
“Since he wanted to get rid of the contract. He’s trying to put the blame somewhere else,” said Stough.
Since Baker terminated the contract six months early, Stough said he feels like he’s been put firmly in the crosshairs in statements made about the range receipts not adding up.
“The sheriff’s statements almost lead to misappropriation of funds which is inaccurate,” said Stough. “Every month they get a full accounting of every deposit, where it came from, and where it went into the bank.”
Baker cited lack of profitability in his decision to cancel the contract, but Stough said his hands were tied since the county set their prices.
“We were told for years we had to watch it,” said Stough. “We couldn’t make a profit. It was some obscure thing about how the government can’t make a profit on deal.”
Wake County Chairman Greg Ford told CBS17 the county is exploring ways to allow the range to stay open, and that could once again include Stough’s company.
But law requires them to open it up to bids.
“Our priority is keeping it open to the public,” said Stough. “If they want to bid it, bid it!”
Baker hasn’t commented publically about the range since Dec. 23, 2019.
Stough said as it stands the range will close to the public Wednesday, January 15.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss ways to keep the range open to the public at their work session Monday afternoon.
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