06/22/06 — Officials still investigating Duplin EMS

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Officials still investigating Duplin EMS

By Turner Walston
Published in News on June 22, 2006 1:49 PM

No decision has been made as to whether criminal charges will be filed in an investigation of Duplin County Emergency Medical Services, Assistant District Attorney Mike Maultsby said today.

District Attorney Dewey Hudson has been reviewing evidence of possible antitrust violations involving emergency services contracts in the county. Former EMS Director Curtis Brock resigned last month after several weeks of administrative leave.

"The investigation is pending," Maultsby said. "The investigation has not been finished."

Several agencies are working to determine if there is cause for criminal action, Hudson said in a statement released this week.

"The investigation involves complex and serious issues of fact and law," Hudson said in the release. "My office is working with the N.C. Attorney General's office, the N.C. SBI and the U.S. Secret Service Agency in efforts to determine whether any criminal laws have been violated."

The investigation centers around methods employed by Brock in an attempt to gain information on emergency services contracts in the county.

In March, Brock and former County Manager Fred Eldridge recommended that Duplin County EMS begin non-emergency and inter-facility transports to increase revenue. Three months later, commissioners debated closing or contracting out two of the county's six EMS sites to help relieve a budget shortfall.

An investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation involving county EMS contracts was completed in late May. At that time, Hudson said he expected a decision on charges to be made by June 2.