Reporting that revealed questionable grant making, overstated job creation claims, breaking of rules, political influence, conflicts of interest and a large built-up cash balance of taxpayers money at the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, the longtime leading agency for rural development in North Carolina. This reporting led to the creation of a new state agency to oversee and administer millions in rural grants in North Carolina; the transfer of about $100 million back to the state, including $27 million that had not been earmarked for any projects in rural areas. The reporting, along with a state audit that was subsequent to the reporting, also contributed to the abrupt resignation of the longtime president at the Rural Center and its chairman of the board. More than a half dozen board members recused from making decisions immediately after a story spotlighted conflicts and potential conflicts.