Dana_Cope

RALEIGH—A Wake county grand jury handed down an indictment today  for the former director of the State Employees Association of NC on two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Dana Cope stepped down earlier this year after an audit revealed he misused credit cards and funds associated with the group for his own personal gain.

The indictment says Cope spent more than $500,000 from December 2009 until February 2015, and Cope used credit cards belonging to SEANC but used the funds for his personal use.

The document states he bought electronic gaming equipment, clothing, jewelry, home appliances, vacations, hotel rooms, massages and plastic surgery.

Cope stepped down earlier this year after Wake County DA Lorrin Freeman requested an investigation.

The current director of SEANC, Mitch Leonard released this statement:

While our members, staff and stakeholders are saddened by this latest development in an unfortunate turn of events for Mr. Cope, rest assured that we are taking all of the necessary steps — resulting from three independent investigations of our operations — to secure SEANC from ever experiencing a breach of leadership again.  As such, I am confident that our organization will continue — uninterrupted — the important work of protecting and defending the interests of retired, current and future state employees.”

Cope’s attorney also released a statement saying in part: 

“Dana has cooperated with the State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake County District Attorney’s office from the beginning of their investigation. Now that Dana has been formally charged he will continue to cooperate fully in answering these charges. We will begin the process of voluntarily surrendering Dana to law enforcement where he will be served the indictments and will go before a Wake County Magistrate who will determine his Conditions of Release.”

Representatives with SEANC said after the audit revealed the spending information, they put several changes in place to their financial system including having a treasurer sign all checks and putting a credit limit of $5,000 on a single credit card.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Cope will appear before a magistrate on Tuesday.