RALEIGH — Randy H. Dishong was hired Monday as chief enforcer of the state’s car inspection and registration laws. The next day, he had to take care of an inspection and registration problem with his own car.
Dishong, 39, of Wake Forest was named deputy commissioner at the state Division of Motor Vehicles. His job includes oversight of the License and Theft Bureau, which is supposed to make sure that millions of North Carolina cars and trucks are inspected and their registrations are renewed each year. DMV will start collecting county property taxes on cars this summer.
Dishong worked previously as emergency management administrator for the Wake County schools, where Transportation Secretary Tony Tata was schools superintendent until September.
The News & Observer inquired about Dishong’s car Tuesday. Greer Beaty, Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said several hours later that Dishong had taken steps that day to bring his safety and emissions inspection and his registration up to date.
“As far as the registration and emissions issue, I believe that has been taken care of today,” Beaty said late Tuesday. “My understanding is his wife had taken the car to get inspected, it didn’t work the first time, and she took it back today.”
The N&O sought comment from Dishong about his car, and also about his misdemeanor conviction in Ohio in 1996, for petty theft. He did not respond to emails or calls to his office and cellphones.
Asked about his misdemeanor conviction, Beaty said Dishong has passed several security clearances in a career that included law enforcement jobs in the military and a nuclear power plant.
“The 1995 issue, I did speak with Randy, he took care of that a long time ago,” Beaty said. “The secretary has full faith and confidence in his ability to do the job. At the end of the day, he’s had a significant number of high-level security clearances, and he’s proven he can manage people and work across agency lines to get the job done.”
DOT and DMV officials did not respond to requests for comment about Dishong’s fitness to oversee state enforcement of car registration laws. Beaty said the agency would not provide details about his car, including how long ago the registration had expired.
“Their vehicles, their taxes and tags are up to date and registered,” Beaty said Wednesday, referring to Dishong and his wife, Ann. “As far as the historical information, that is not public record. The DMV records are not available for public disclosure.”
Dishong was hired at a salary of $85,000. His appointment was one of several job changes announced in recent days at DOT and DMV. Also since Friday, Tata has:
• Promoted Richard Walls, formerly state aviation director, to deputy secretary for transit. He replaces Paul Morris.
• Promoted Paul Worley, rail engineering and safety director, to Rail Division director.
• Promoted Steve Watkins to DMV License and Theft Bureau director.
• Promoted Barbara Webb to DMV Driver Services director.
• Moved Katherine White, general counsel, to a job as an attorney in the DMV hearings office.
• Moved Eric Boyette, inspector general, to a job as business technology applications specialist and staff assistant to DOT’s chief information officer.
Siceloff: 919-829-4527 or blogs.newsobserver.com/crosstown or twitter.com/Road_Worrier/