Cooper replaces SBI director

Staff writersJuly 29, 2010 

PENDERGRAFT.NE.072910.ASR

Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Thursday, July 29, 2010 that he is replacing the director of the State Bureau of Investigation. Robin Pendergraft, seen here, whom Cooper appointed to the position in 2001, will oversee an expanded unit devoted to investigating Medicaid fraud.

SHAWN ROCCO — SHAWN ROCCO - srocco@newsobserver.com

Attorney General Roy Cooper said today that he is replacing the director of the State Bureau of Investigation.

Robin Pendergraft, whom Cooper appointed to the position in 2001, will oversee an expanded unit devoted to investigating Medicaid fraud.

Cooper revealed the major personnel change Thursday morning in an interview with The News & Observer to discuss problems at the beleaguered SBI.

Her position will be that of a senior deputy attorney general; it will not involve a pay cut and could bring a raise, Cooper said.

Pendergraft's move was decided a few days after reporters for The N&O discussed a number of problem cases with her. She claimed not to know about many agency policies and procedures and said she didn't know about her agency's involvement with some cases she was asked about.

Greg McLeod, a senior aide to Cooper who serves as his legislative liaison, will replace Pendergraft.

Cooper praised Pendergraft's performance at the SBI.

Her leadership has been under scrutiny since February, when a Wake County man was exonerated after an SBI agent was shown to have withheld critical lab notes about blood evidence.

mandy.locke@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8927

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