RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Taking a seat in the courtroom this afternoon was State Auditor Beth Wood who pleaded guilty to a Class 2 misdemeanor for hit-and-run related to a December 2022 crash.
On Thursday afternoon, it was also decided that Wood will pay $11,000 in restitution which has been done. Wake County’s District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told Judge Louis Myer she was “satisfied” with that amount. In addition, Wood paid a $300 court fine.
Freeman previously told CBS 17 that leaving the scene, property damage and an infraction for unsafe movement were also among Wood’s charges from that night.
A CBS 17 crew in the courtroom saw Wood enter and sit alongside her attorney Roger Smith as they both waited to be called by Judge Louis Myer.
The plea, restitution and appearance come after months of coverage related to that December incident. A video taken by a bystander showed the moments after the hit-and-run, a billboard called for her resignation and CBS 17’s Hayley Fixler spoke with the State Auditor 1-on-1 to hear an apology from Wood.
Below is the statement Wood made in court:
“Your honor: I want to speak to you and to the people of North Carolina whom serve. I take full and complete responsibility for my actions on December 8, 2022. Let me repeat that. I take full and complete responsibility for my actions. No excuses.
I made a grave mistake leaving the scene of my accident after a holiday party in downtown Raleigh. I should have stayed at the scene, I should have called law enforcement, I should have let the process play out.
I was not impaired but given the positioning of the cars and knowing I had two glasses of wine, I made an error in judgement in the moment. In the end, if I had made the right decision, we would not be here today.
While I have already paid out of my pocket for damages to the State car I was driving and to the car I hit, I regret that two young men have been charged as well.
The truth is I am a public servant, elected by the people as their state auditor. I am human. I am not perfect. I apologize to the people of North Carolina who have trusted me. I am so very sorry to let them down. I have done my best to serve them well.
For now, I will accept whatever your honor hands down. I will hold my head up and continue, God willing, to serve the people of this great state.
Thank you.Beth Wood – Statement March 23, 2023