Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D.) former electric car company has been audited to repay $6.4 million of public funds to the state of Mississippi.
GreenTech Automotive, which McAuliffe left in 2012, was unable to deliver on its promise to create jobs in the state of Mississippi, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
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Now Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering is asking for the full sum of $5 million in public loans, along with interest and recovery costs, to be repaid in full within 30 days. He warned GreenTech CEO Charles Wang that failure to pay could result in the state filing a lawsuit against the company.
Pickering told the Times-Dispatch that the litigation, should it arise, could possibly involve McAuliffe.
McAuliffe founded GreenTech Automotive by buying a Chinese company and moving it the the U.S. after his failed bid for governor in 2009. The company's 2012 ribbon-cutting ceremony in Mississippi included McAuliffe, former President Bill Clinton, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
The company quickly became a political liability. McAuliffe attracted criticism for locating the company in Mississippi rather than Virginia, especially after the company began to fall behind its goal of investing $60 million and producing 350 jobs in the Mississippi factory.
The last time GreenTech posted on its website was in September, to indicate it was moving its corporate headquarters to northern Virginia.
Pickering said GreenTech resisted outreach, escorting auditors off the property. Pickering's office ultimately had to obtain subpoenas and court orders to force GreenTech to comply with the audit.
"We've never had a company force our hand at this level," Pickering said.
Pickering said he did not see a possibility of extending the repayment period past 30 days.
"They're going to have to show real action to make the taxpayers whole in Mississippi," Pickering said.