Politics & Government

N. Carolina official's long leave of absence raises questions

North Carolina Secretary of Cultural Resources Libba Evans joined the exuberant crowd at a Barack Obama rally in Greensboro last month.

Normally, there's nothing surprising about a top Democratic state official attending a rally for her party's nominee for president.

But Evans has been on unpaid leave from her job as head of the state Department of Cultural Resources since May to attend to personal business.

Her prolonged absence has raised questions in some Republican circles about why Evans hasn't resigned, and about the necessity of her job.

“Since we're facing tremendous budget problems and we have a secretary of cultural resources who hasn't been to work in six months and apparently wasn't missed, perhaps we could do away with that position,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican and deputy Republican Senate leader.

Evans, a former state Democratic Party chair, did not return voice mails left on three phone lines listed in her name in North Carolina and Florida, as well as a request for an interview made through Staci Meyer, general counsel at the Department of Cultural Resources and acting secretary in Evans' absence.

Read the full story at CharlotteObserver.com.