PEMBROKE — An attorney from Pembroke has been appointed to the N.C. Board of Transportation, becoming the first American Indian to serve on what is considered to be a very influential board.
Grady Hunt’s appointment to the board seat representing rural counties and municipalities across the state was made by Gov. Roy Cooper. He was sworn-in on April 6 by N.C. Supreme Court Justice Sam Irvin IV, the grandson of former U.S. Sen. Sam Irvin, of Watergate fame, and the son of Judge Sam Irvin III.
“Personally, this appointment has a special meaning for me,” said Hunt. “It’s something my grandparents could not dream of and my parents could not think would happen. But I had the opportunity to get education and a lot of folks paved the way for me. I had a lot of good mentors.”
A native of Robeson County, Hunt is a partner in the law firm of Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt and Brooks. He has practiced government, education and real estate law for more than 25 years.
Hunt has served as legal counsel for several rural municipalities, including Hoke County, Pembroke and Maxton. He currently is the attorney for the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education.
Hunt is a graduate of Pembroke State University, now The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. He also is a U.S. Air Force veteran.
The state Board of Transportation has historically served as the launch pad for individuals hoping to eventually pursue elected political office. One example is former state Sen. President pro tempore Marc Basnight, of Dare County, who served several years on the Board of Transportation before being elected a state senator from Dare County.
Hunt said he has no intention of running for an elected public office.
According to Hunt, he plans to work with the other members of the Board of Transportation to support a transportation system that provides for “quality of life” across the state.
“I look forward to working with Gov. Cooper, Secretary (James) Trogdon and the rest of the N.C. DOT team to deliver a comprehensive transportation system that supports economic development and enhances quality of life throughout the state,” he said. “… Transportation plays an essential role in our daily lives.”
Several major highways traverse Robeson County, including Interstatre 95, U.S. 74 and N.C. 211.
Hunt’s is the second key appointment for Robeson County to a critical state board in recent weeks. Last week, Kellie Blue, finance director for the Robeson County government and the trustee chair for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, was selected in a House vote to serve on the UNC system’s Board of Governors. Blue is also an American Indian.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.