The N.C. House unanimously approved Gov. Pat McCrory’s appointment for State Bureau of Investigation director. Acting director B.W. Collier will now begin an eight-year term in the post.
Collier’s confirmation, which already cleared the Senate, marks the first time the legislature has had a role in the hire. Past SBI directors were hired by the attorney general, but McCrory and Republican legislators moved the agency to the Department of Public Safety – part of the governor’s administration.
Democrats criticized the change as a political move because Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to run against McCrory in 2016.
“This is sort of a historic action we’re taking here,” said Rep. John Faircloth, a High Point Republican. “He is working independent of the Department of Justice. This is an arrangement we feel is best for the people of North Carolina.”
House Rules Chairman David Lewis, a Dunn Republican, praised Collier, a longtime SBI agent who’s served as acting director since last year.
“Acting director Collier has distinguished himself in the performance of his duties,” Lewis said.
Shortly after the vote, McCrory issued a statement congratulating Collier. “B.W. Collier is a man of great integrity and intelligence,” the governor said. “His proven experience and capable leadership, ably demonstrated as acting director, are assets to the men and women working in this professional law enforcement agency. I want to thank members of the House and Senate for their thoughtful consideration and unanimous approval of his nomination.”