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North Carolina Mayor Resigns Four Months After Drug Indictment


February 1993

The Mayor of Wake Forest, North Carolina resigned four months after his indictment on federal drug charges (Pamela Babcock, "Prosecutors Drop Conspiracy Case: Wake Forest Mayor Agrees to Step Down," The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 1/12/93, 1A).

On January 11, 1993, the day his trial was to begin, federal prosecutors dropped felony cocaine distribution charges against Wake Forest Mayor Jimmy Ray, who then pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession and agreed to resign immediately. He faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Ray admitted he had an alcohol and cocaine problem, and apologized for any embarrassment he had caused the town.

Prosecutors accepted the reduced plea after admitting they were unlikely to prove the felony charges. Ray was indicted in September 1992 on federal charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Ray had also been charged with using his position as mayor to divulge the identity of an undercover Wake Forest police officer to a cocaine dealer. A federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent testified that Ray had cocaine delivered regularly to his home and Town Hall, sometimes up to five times weekly.