RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Conservative businessman, philanthropist and political donor Art Pope is stepping down as North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's state budget director early next month.
McCrory announced Pope's departure and the hiring of replacement Lee Roberts on Wednesday at the Executive Mansion.
The governor says Pope had initially agreed to serve as budget director for one year when he was hired to start in early 2013 but decided to stay on through this year's legislative session. McCrory praised Pope for his public service and breadth of knowledge of state government.
Pope says he will return to leading his family's discount retail business and will spend more time with family.
Roberts was most recently in the banking field. He is the son o
f radio and television political commentator Cokie Roberts.