State audit shows hundreds of seized vehicles missing in NC

2001 Honda Civic

RALEIGH - According to a new state audit, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction may be out hundreds of thousands of dollars due to shortcomings in a program that takes money from DWI vehicle seizures and gives it to schools.

The audit looked at whether private contractors operating the DWI/Felony Speeding to Elude Vehicle Seizure Program as they're required to by law. The scope of the investigation looked at seizures between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2016.

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CLICK HERE to see a pdf of the report State auditor Beth Wood notes that both contractors for the program couldn't provide documentation for some of the vehicles they towed, but Wood took particular issue with the contractor out of Erwin, NC, Martin Edward & Associates. Of the 234 vehicles that went unaccounted for, MEA was responsible for 221. Together, the vehicles had a value of approximately $634,000. As a result, Wood said in the audit, "the state has no way of knowing what happened to approximately $634,0003 of seized vehicles, including whether or not contractors inappropriately kept or auctioned these vehicles for their own profit."