Business bloopers 2012

The highs and lows of North Carolina's 2012.
By Spencer Campbell

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/01/possumdrop.gifNo playing possum

In November, an N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings judge ruled that a Brasstown store could no longer lower a caged live possum as part of its New Year’s Eve celebration. Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison wrote that the proprietor — who had a hunting-fishing but not a trapping license from the state Wildlife Resources Commission — could only kill, not capture wild animals. “Hunters must afford wild animals the same right Patrick Henry yearned for: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’”

Somebody should’ve told him print advertising doesn’t work

Before the season, Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Ryan Kalil paid for a full-page ad in The Charlotte Observer to predict his team would win the Super Bowl. But his teammates aren’t subscribers. Through 13 games, the Panthers were tied for the worst record in their conference. Kalil suffered a season-ending injury in the fifth game.

Because studying string (bikini) theory is expensive

In January, Argentine authorities caught UNC Chapel Hill physics professor Paul Frampton carrying 2 kilos of cocaine. He claims he had traveled to Bolivia to visit a swimsuit model he met online but was greeted by a guy who asked him to take the suitcase to her in Argentina, according to ABC News. While held in Villa Devoto prison, he wrote Provost Bruce Carney, saying his $107,000 annual salary should be doubled for the good work he continues to do for the university. Convicted in November, he could be doing it under house arrest in South America for at least two years.

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/01/romney_bgraham.gifWe meant cultlike zeal for America 

After its leader vowed to support Mitt Romney’s campaign for president, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association deleted a page from its website that referred to Mormonism as a cult. Graham’s son, Franklin, said that if Romney, a Mormon, had been elected, “the secularization of America … would have slowed down a little bit,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

While they smoked fine cigars and sipped cognac, he chewed Red Man and swigged white lightning  

Describing a 2008 meeting between federal regulators and chief executives of the nation’s largest banks in her book Bull by the Horns, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chair Sheila Bair wrote that Ken Lewis, then head of Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., “was viewed somewhat as a country bumpkin by the CEOs of the big New York banks and not completely without justification.”

But the minor-league baseball team finished third in its division 

U.S. News & World Report ranked the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro eighth among the nation’s 10 worst for finding a job. It was projected to have regained only 7.4% of the jobs it lost during the recession by the end of 2012.

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/01/Angus-Barn.gifThink of it as severance pay

In March, Peyton Manning feasted at Angus Barn, an upscale steakhouse outside Raleigh, racking up a $739.58 tab. Though 18% gratuity was included, the NFL quarterback added a $200 tip. His waiter so appreciated the gesture he took a picture of the complete credit-card slip and shared it on Twitter — and was subsequently fired.

Wanna bet his next platform includes tax reform?

The Internal Revenue Service claims Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins owes $86,955 in unpaid federal income taxes from 2010. He and his estranged wife are facing foreclosure on their five-bedroom home, on which they allegedly owe $1.2 million. Perkins, a real-estate developer, says his financial problems stem from his industry’s recent struggles.

Like flick and frack

Rep. Becky Carney, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, mashed the wrong button July 2, accidentally voting to overrule Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of a bill to legalize hydraulic fracturing for natural gas — or fracking. She tried to change her vote, but the General Assembly allows reversals only when they don’t affect outcomes. Her vote clinched the override.

But one of the sharpest in the shed 

The Wall Street Journal named Jason Benham, co-founder of Charlotte-based Benham Real Estate Group LLC, the nation’s third most-productive Realtor after he racked up 970 closings in 2011. “For me to take credit for an award like this would be like a shovel taking credit for digging a hole,” he said. “I’m simply the tool God used to accomplish the task.”

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/01/redkudzu.gifRampant as a field of red kudzu 

In July, N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis told a Charlotte crowd, “I’ve been in this room a couple of times, and almost every time it was at a political event either when we were looking at returns or plotting our strategy to defeat the spread of socialism across North Carolina, which is a constant battle,” according to NC Policy Watch. 

Who’s keeping score?  

Not only did the Charlotte Bobcats post the worst winning percentage in NBA history last season, Forbes magazine reports that the franchise lost $25.5 million in 2010-11, most of any team.

When his moon hits your eye, time to tell him goodbye.  

An appeals court in Illinois confirmed that Jason Selch, an investment analyst at a Chicago-based subsidiary of Bank of America Corp. until he mooned a room of execs to show his displeasure over a colleague’s dismissal, had been justly canned. He lost about $2 million in compensation.

You have to promote yourself  

Marketing teacher William Saunders resigned from Page High School in Greensboro in November after a student discovered revealing pictures of him on Instagram, a photo-sharing website. According to the Associated Press, “A montage shows several photos of Saunders, including a naked shot in which he is cupping his genitals.” He had just been named the school system’s employee of the month for December.

Debt and service just go together  

SmartBuy and its affiliated companies, which are owned by a Fayetteville-based family, agreed to release nearly 4,000 soldiers from $9.6 million of debt as part of a settlement with the New York attorney general. The retailer allegedly sold merchandise — mostly to Army troops stationed at Fort Drum in New York — at interest rates averaging 244%. In one example, a soldier purchased a video-game console and a 32-inch TV for $162 a month and was never told the total cost would amount to $3,123.67.

Yeah, but in New York you’d also get bed bugs 

Members of the California delegation complained that their main lodging during the Democratic National Convention, Blake Hotel in Charlotte, charged them $310 a night for rooms filled with mold, wet plaster and broken fixtures. Tweeted California state Sen. Ted Lieu: “I’m not even going to mention the cockroaches.”

At least he’s optimistic

https://asoft10294.accrisoft.com/businessnc/clientuploads/Archive_Images/2013/01/TimNewmanMugshot.gifTim Newman, CEO of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority until he was demoted in 2011, was charged with driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run after police say he rear-ended a car in May. The other driver claims Newman “kept saying it was fine” before driving away. A judge dismissed the DWI charge after ruling police kept him locked up too long.