1/8 Letters: Laura Riddick’s conviction should serve as a deterrent.

Former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick.
Former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick. 2014 News & Observer file photo

I was amazed by the amount of column space devoted by the N&O Jan. 6 (“Claims of ‘relatively light sentence’ are wrong, father says“) in an article written by the father of Laura Riddick in defense of his daughter who embezzled $1 to $2 million in her last years as Register of Deeds in Wake County. He believes she deserves a lighter punishment because, among other things, she quickly repaid the money.

As I recall, a big chunk of the reparation money came from the sale of her home and other assets. Investigators determined that much of the missing money was used to pay for lavish vacations, usually in cash. I have no sympathy for thieves, and I’m not interested in hearing excuses. She betrayed the public trust, and stole a huge amount of money. I have no problem with prosecutors sending a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated among state employees.

Eric Hinesley


Working with the governor

In reference to the letter “Cooper Tactics,” Dec. 30, the writer was criticizing the vetoes and court actions made by Governor Cooper. This legislature has tried to nullify the 2016 election results by passing legislation to weaken his powers and have continued that effort with this last special session. To my knowledge, there has been no outcry from the citizenry for any of this legislation. The state and federal courts have numerous times found this legislature’s laws unconstitutional. So I applaud the governor for standing up for the constitution and common decency.

There was also mention of the governor working with the legislature to try to get things done. I think the problem has been the legislature not working with the governor and trying to render him as powerless as they can. Now, without a veto-proof majority, let’s see how the legislature tries to work with the governor.

The end of the letter has a very timely statement about the governor acting like a kid. This seems to be more in line with the person in the Oval Office who would rather shut down the government over a border wall that two-thirds of the country doesn’t want.

Daniel W. Squires, Jr.


Say what?

Regarding the Jan. 6 letter to the editor from Dr. Mark Nance (“College professors aren’t out to turn you liberal”), I have to assume that Nance is not a religious believer. Otherwise, he’d be terrified that God would strike him dead for telling such a whopper.

Dale White

Chapel Hill


If the shutdown is not resolved Tuesday, no paychecks happen Friday. That’s just wrong. No other employer can force folks to work without pay. Those who must resolve this are still getting paid. That’s wrong, too. The unpaid are not at fault and shouldn’t be pawns in a game of brinksmanship. It’s not just the 800,000 federal employees — plus all the federal contractors who will never receive back pay — who suffer, it’s also all the people who do business with them. The president claims, without evidence and against common sense, that workers losing pay support his position and are willing to forfeit paychecks. He says they can make “adjustments.” But you can’t pay bills without income. Obviously, the suffering of millions of Americans is not important enough to an intransigent President or Democratic leaders to motivate compromise.

The president bears sole responsibility for causing this shutdown, since Congress passed a spending bill in time. But both sides are guilty for failing to reach a compromise. If President Trump demands $5.6 billion, then the compromise is $2.8 billion in my book. n Demand immunity from deportation and a path to citizenship for Dreamers in exchange. Make a deal now!

Patricia V. Long


Regional rail

Brad Brinegar article on the DOLRT(“The Orange-Durham light rail has become a runaway train,” Dec. 30) is the message I have espoused for years. His points, top to bottom, describe my long-standing position including north and south transit involvement possibilities.

Brinegar is to be congratulated for his “courageous” but his sensible, forward-thinking message. All decision makers should pay attention to a reasonable plan for regional rail investment — Durham/Orange/Wake/RDU/RTP (with connectivity north and south).

I believe we really are at the edge of a misplaced-funding investment/limited-service precipice. Hope we decide, finally, not to jump in. More beneficial regional, timely implementation WILL come.

Charles Gibbs