Under the Dome

Call for audit follows indictment of state NCFlex fund manager

A legislative oversight committee on Wednesday called for an investigative audit of the state worker flexible insurance program, after its longtime manager was indicted on charges of illegally taking nearly $250,000 from the fund.

Last month Chakrapani Tademeti, 66, of Raleigh was indicted by a Wake County grand jury on charges of larceny by an employee and obtaining property by false pretenses.

State personnel director Neal Alexander told a meeting of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations that the fund manager had vendors pay invoices to him directly.

Alexander said an internal review earlier this year raised concerns, and the State Bureau of Investigation was notified. After the SBI’s financial crimes unit looked into it and conferred with the Wake County district attorney, the matter was taken to a grand jury. Alexander said the SBI investigation is ongoing, and that he hopes the state can recover some of the money.

The money was taken from a fund used for marketing and education. Alexander said initially that money wasn’t considered state money, since it came from vendors, but the investigation determined that it was.

Alexander said the fund manager was a longtime trusted employee. But the indictment says the money was taken between 2012 and 2015.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican from Cary, called for the state auditor to look into management controls in the NCFlex program and into the Office of State Human Resources, going back 10 years, and report back to the legislature on its progress by June. The committee approved his motion.

WRAL first reported on the indictment.