Mike Robertson says hell retire effective Oct. 1 as North Carolinas motor vehicles commissioner, after three years in the job and a total of 43 years in law enforcement.
This has been an enjoyable three years, Robertson, 64, told Dome. Ive got mixed emotions about leaving state government, but this will be my third retirement certificate.
Before he took charge of DMVs 1,500 employees in March 2009, Robertson had worked as head of the Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement for five years, and for 22 years at the State Bureau of Investigation, where he oversaw electronic surveillance. He also had stints as a state trooper and a deputy and police officer in New Hanover County.
He plans to launch a management consulting business mostly for private companies that do business with law enforcement and motor vehicle agencies. He said he wont solicit or accept clients before his retirement, and he wont register as a lobbyist.
I think there could be a myriad of companies, equipment manufacturers, sales people who value the Rolodex of who you can get to, Robertson said. But Im not going to come back to DMV or SBI or law enforcement and try to sell them something.
Robertson said he improved security at DMV by switching to a system of issuing new licenses from the central office in Raleigh, rather than handing them out at local offices. Next year DMV will roll out a new license, intended to be tamper-resistant, using a high-resolution, black-and-white photo of the driver, made with a camera using multiple lenses and printed in laser-engraved layers that produce a 3-D effect.
He directed the change to a new system that requires car inspections before owners can renew their registrations, and he implemented an electronic emissions inspection program that gives DMV direct control over information that had been controlled for years by a private company, Verizon, that had contracted with DMV.
He announced his retirement decision in a letter Tuesday to Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, who issued a statement Thursday praising Robertson.
The commissioner has dedicated his life to serving the people, Conti said. We are pleased and fortunate to have had him serve with us. He has accomplished great things, and we wish him well.
Deposition timing questioned
An attorney for a former state Democratic Party staffer wants to depose Chairman David Parker on Sept. 5 in the middle of the national party convention in Charlotte.
Parkers attorney filed a motion this week to quash the deposition, suggesting it is politically motivated.
The scheduling of a deposition in the middle of the Democratic National Convention will cause harassment, annoyance, oppression and undue burden or expense upon Parker, the motion states.
Adriadn Ortega, the junior staffer who sued Parker and the party for defamation in relation to sexual harassment charges he made earlier this year, is represented by Kieran Shanahan, a top GOP fundraiser who also works as a spokesman for the state Republican Party.
Shanahan was not available to comment. John Branch, another attorney at the firm, said this is not a political ploy because they are open to negotiating the date of the deposition, as is often the case in civil cases.
In the motion, Parker is seeking a hearing with the judge to discuss the deposition and set limits on what Parker can be asked. Attorney Craig Tierney requests an order to block the deposition. He also filed a motion to dismiss.
Eugenics head leaving job
Charmaine Fuller Cooper is leaving her job as executive director of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation.
Her last day is Thursday.
Fuller Cooper was the last person left in her office after the legislature rejected a proposal to compensate victims of the states eugenics program. The foundation had worked for the last few years helping to identify people who were sterilized under the direction of a state government board.
The state budget included no money for the foundation, but the legislature directed the Department of Administration to find money within its budget to keep the doors open. With Fuller Coopers announcement, an administrative staffer will return to the foundation office to help people determine whether they were sterilized under the eugenics program, said a spokeswoman with the Department of Administration.
In an email to supporters, Fuller Cooper said she has a new job as director of Community & Multicultural Health Initiatives at the American Heart Association.
There are many who are still working for NCs eugenics victims and the Foundation will continue to operate, she wrote. My advocacy for victims will also continue as a private citizen.
Staff writers Bruce Siceloff, John Frank and Lynn Bonner
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