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Tributes to Womble at task force meeting

Eugenics task force members and forced-sterilization victims paid tribute to Rep. Larry Womble as the champion behind the movement to win compensation for victims. 

Womble, 70, is hospitalized in critical condition in Winston-Salem after a two-car, head-on accident that killed the other driver, David Carmichael.

A police investigation determined that Womble crossed the center line of a Winston-Salem road at about 11 p.m. Friday night.

Rep. Earline Parmon, a friend of Womble's said he underwent another surgery this morning.

In addition to statements of support at the meeting, Dr. Laura Gerald, head of the task force considering compensation amounts for eugenics victims, and Charmaine Fuller Cooper, director of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, released prepared statements.

From Gerald: “Today marks the first time we have gathered as a Task Force without him in the room.  We send our prayers and well wishes to Rep. Womble and his family as he fights to recover from his injuries. We likewise extend condolences to the family of Mr. David Carmichael.”

From Cooper: "Rep. Womble has fought on behalf of eugenics victims for years and always states that he is not finished until justice is found. I am proud to know him. As the Task Force moves forward, the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation will continue to carry out the Governor’s directives to assist victims and asks the media and the public to persist in helping us to reach out to those affected by the state’s former Eugenics Board program.” 

Larry Womble in critical condition, but alert

State Rep. Larry Womble, critically injured in a car accident last week that killed another driver, is alert and responding to stimuli, according to a doctor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The hospital held a news conference this afternoon where Dr. Russell M. Howerton and Rep. Earline Parmon spoke.

Howerton said Womble has several broken bones and will undergo "a series of treatments and procedures."

Womble, 70, is a Democrat from Winston-Salem serving his ninth term.

Womble was injured in a head on collision in the accident late Friday night that killed the other driver, 54-year-old David Allen Carmichael.

Parmon said the Womble and Carmichael families have been close for years, and this was a trying time for both families.

Recent House bills

Recent House bills of note:

H.B. 661: City Managers on School Boards, Rep. Ray Warren

H.B. 677: Require a "First in Flight" Background, Reps. Lucy Allen, Lorene Coates, Nelson Cole and Becky Carney

H.B. 691: State Contracts/Slavery Profits, Reps. Larry Womble, Earl Jones, Annie Mobley and Earline Parmon

H.B. 708: Furlough of State Employees, Reps. Ray Rapp, Rick Glazier and Margaret Dickson

H.B. 711: Sales Tax Fairness Act, Reps. Winkie Wilkins and Dale Folwell

H.B. 724: Open Records Attorneys' Fees, Reps. George Cleveland and Curtis Blackwood

Yet more House bills from day two

Several more House bills were filed this afternoon:

H.B. 21: Eugenics Program - Support and Education, Reps. Larry Womble, Ronnie Sutton, Earline Parmon and Martha Alexander

H.B. 22: Enhance Youth Employment Protections, Reps. Jennifer Weiss, Melanie Wade Goodwin, Paul Luebke, Angela Bryant

H.B. 23: Strengthen Child Labor Violation Penalties, Reps. Weiss, Luebke, Bryant and Goodwin

H.B. 24: Funds for Cochlear Implants / CASTLE, Rep. Verla Insko

H.B. 25: Clarify SCFAC Appointments, Rep. Insko

H.B. 26: Stay Beach Plan Rates, Deductible Surcharges, Reps. Timothy Spear, Carolyn Justice

More House bills from day two

A few more bills have been filed in the House:

H.B. 15: Military Family Assistance Center / Funds, Rep. Cullie Tarleton

H.B. 16: Retired Judge May Perform Marriage, Rep. Russell Tucker

H.B. 17: Asheboro Satellite Annexation, Rep. Harold Brubaker

H.B. 18: Speech Language Pathologist Qualifications, Rep. Bill Faison

H.B. 19: MLK's 80th Birthday / Obama Inauguration, Reps. Larry Womble, Paul Luebke, Jennifer Weiss, Earline Parmon

H.B. 20: Compensate Eugenics Sterilization Survivors, Reps. Womble, Parmon, Ronnie Sutton and Martha Alexander

Wright allies faced charges, too

The four House Democrats who voted against expelling Thomas Wright have also faced accusations.

Reps. Larry Womble and Earline Parmon, both Winston-Salem Democrats; Earl Jones, a Greensboro Democrat; and Mary McAllister, a Fayetteville Democrat; have all been accused of poor financial handling.

"Wright has been charged but he’s not been convicted of anything in court,” Womble said. "I'm not one to pre-judge. I’ve always been taught to wait and see and let due process work itself out."

Womble was indicted in 1991 on four counts of extortion after a corruption investigation that started when he was on the Winston-Salem Board of Aldermen. He was found not guilty in 1992.

Parmon was under suspicion when a charter school she founded, LIFT, had its license revoked. The state Department of Public Instruction said the school routinely mismanaged money.

Jones ran a nonprofit, the Guilford County Community Action Program, that was dinged by state auditors when it couldn't account for more than $700,000 in taxpayer money. 

And McAllister was forced to pay a $16,294 fine last year after the State Board of Elections said she received a repayment for campaign loans she never made. (W-SJ

More on scholarships

ABC-11 has some details to the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation scholarships.

A story cites Winston-Salem State University's financial aid office as saying that Rep. Larry Womble's son, Jamaal, received $1,000 in 2005-06 and $500 in 2006-07 from the foundation, and Rep. Earline Parmon's granddaughter, Shalonda Ingram, received $1,000 in the 2005-06 year and $500 in 2006-07.

The fifth scholarship

Who is the fifth recipient of a scholarship from the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation?

We don't know, but we do know who it could be. There are 28 members of the Black Caucus. Of them, we know that scholarships went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, and the daughter of Rep. Alma Adams.

That leaves 24 possible members. Check back here this afternoon for a running list of who has said it wasn't a relative of theirs.

In addition, Adams said she would leave the decision up to the legislator, so we can rule out those who have died: Sen. Jeanne Lucas, Sen. Robert Holloman, Rep. Howard Hunter, Rep. John Hall and Rep. Bernard Allen.

First, Rep. Dan Blue was not in the legislature at that time, and Rep. Linda Coleman said it was not any of her relatives ... a staffer for Rep. Mickey Michaux said it was not him, although he personally refused to answer ... Rep. William Wainwright said it was not him ... Rep. Larry Hall said it was not him ... a staffer for Rep. Marvin Lucas said it was not him and that he designated his scholarship money for students from local churches ... Rep. Angela Bryant was appointed in January so it's not her either ...

If your legislator tells you that it wasn't them (or was), please contact us at dome@newsobserver.com.

The fourth Caucus scholarship

Rep. Alma Adams confirmed that her daughter was the recipient of a scholarship from the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

In an interview with reporters on the House floor today, the Greensboro Democrat said that her daughter, Jeanelle Lindsay, was one of the five recipients of scholarships from the nonprofit.

She did not elaborate, saying that she had to make a committee meeting before the House reconvenes at 3 p.m.

She did, however, say that press coverage has been inaccurate, though she did not explain how.

 "My real problem with the press is that you all don't quote things accurately," she said.

The foundation is reviewing its process for awarding scholarships. Scholarships also went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield.

It is not known who the fifth recipient is.

Correction: An earlier version of the post incorrectly used Lindsay's maiden name.

Two more Caucus scholarships

Relatives of five members of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus received scholarships from its nonprofit foundation in 2005 and 2006.

According to a statement issued this afternoon by caucus chair Rep. Alma Adams, roughly $5,400 in scholarships given in those two academic years went to relatives of legislators.

"To the best of the Foundation's knowledge, the scholarship funds benefited students with financial and academic promise, and there was no intention to improperly benefit a legislator," she wrote.

In 2007, the Foundation gave out more than $12,000 in scholarships, none of which went to legislators' relatives, according to the release.

The foundation is reviewing its process for awarding scholarships. Scholarships went to the granddaughter of Rep. Earline Parmon, the son of Rep. Larry Womble and the daughter of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield.

It is not known who the other two recipients are.

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