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After Scandal and Audit, Virginia Economic Development Partnership Brings in New Leadership

After a scathing audit, the embattled Virginia Economic Development Partnership is trying to turn itself around. And, as Michael Pope tells us, the group is bringing in new leadership.

Stephen Moret is taking the helm at the state’s economic development partnership, which has had a rough few months since the previous CEO abruptly stepped down eight months ago.

A state audit pointed out poor operations and mismanagement at the partnership. Frank Shafroth at George Mason University says the new leader will take control of a fractured economy. 

“You have different cities and counties in Virginia that each have their own economic development plans and the idea of coordinating them with neighbors appears to be something they avoid at all costs.”

Read More: Investigators Blast Economic Development Agency

Greg LeRoy is executive director of a group known as Good Jobs First. He says he’s seen a pattern. When states privatize economic development, they have to deal with the consequences. 

“Resistance to accountability. Excessive CEO compensation. Insider dealing. Appearances of conflict of interests. It’s just a blueprint for corruption.”

Moret comes to Virginia from Louisiana, where he oversaw the state’s economic development department before leading the LSU Foundation.

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