North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood pleaded guilty Thursday to her involvement in a December hit-and-run.
Wood admitted to the hit-and-run, which occurred in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, according to Axios. She faces a misdemeanor charge for driving a state vehicle onto the hood of a parked car and then exiting her vehicle and fleeing the scene, leaving the keys behind in the ignition.
Prior to the incident, Wood was at a Democratic lobbyist’s Christmas party, Axios noted. “I made a grave mistake leaving the scene of my accident after a holiday party in downtown Raleigh,” Wood said in court on Thursday, offering her first ever explanation of the situation. She claimed she was not impaired at the time of the crash but had consumed two glasses of wine at the party.
“I made an error in judgement in the moment,” Wood continued, per Axios. “In the end, if I had made the right decision, we would not be here today.”
Breaking: @NCStateAuditor Beth Wood PLEADS GUILTY to hit-and-run charge.
Wood acknowledges having 2 glasses of wine that night and claims she was NOT impaired. She will not resign.
2 others involved are charged with obstructing justice. #ncpol https://t.co/QCCTsupsDK pic.twitter.com/k3eFGOW0kh
— Andy Specht (@AndySpecht) March 23, 2023
Wood was elected as state auditor in 2009, the outlet continued. Her role involves holding other officials and governmental agencies accountable for any waste and abuse within their roles. But her hit-and-run was kept “under wraps” for more than a month, Axios reported.
At least three people called 911 after the Toyota Camry that Wood was driving ended up on top of another parked vehicle, Axios reported in a previous article. It’s unclear how the situation was kept so quiet from the press, but two people connected to the crash were charged on Wednesday, ABC 11 reported.
Two men who were in the car with Wood during the crash were charged Friday. Ryan McGirt faces charges of misdemeanor accessory after the fact and obstructing justice, while Jonah Mendys was charged with obstruction of justice, and misdemeanor passenger failure to give information, the outlet continued. (RELATED: ‘The Office’ Actor Charged With DUI, Hit-And-Run)
Wood paid $11,000 in personal money to the Department of Administration and to her victim, ABC 11 noted. She also paid a $100 fine and court costs.