Pouring money into a corrupt black hole:
The former CEO of the Triad’s regional economic recruitment organization has been arrested and charged with four felonies and could face a lengthy prison sentence. David Powell, 51, allegedly took a total of $240,000 that belonged to his former employer and spent it on himself.
Understandably, the board, which consists of area captains of industry, was impressed by Powell’s resume and local roots. A Winston-Salem native, he had been vice president of NetJets, an Ohio company that rents and sells part ownerships of corporate jets. He also had a strong background in economic development. Aviation industry experience, hometown ties, management cred ... Powell had seemed a perfect fit.
He "seemed a perfect fit" because he came from a Warren Buffet-owned company which dealt exclusively with customers from the 1% class. But the only thing that really guarantees is that he had developed a "taste" for the finer things in life, and the affluenza affliction that told him it was his right to take those things if he so desired. Luckily, it appears there were very few taxpayer dollars involved by the time he was hired, but it could have just as easily been the opposite. A greater lesson to be learned: Allowing "captains of industry," however local they may be, manage large fund balances used to incentivize the recruitment of new industries to the region, is simply foolish. Will they help potential competitors? Doubtful. Will they funnel money to people they are already connected with in some way? If they can get away with it. Will allowing a corrupt CEO manage that operation aid in those efforts? Oh yeah.