State Public Safety Spokesman & Former Washington Daily News Reporter Dies

Ernie Seneca, the chief public information officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, has died. He was 51.

Department spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said Seneca, who had battled several forms of cancer in the past few years, died Friday morning.

Seneca was a former reporter at the Washington Daily News and at the Rocky Mount Telegram.

Prior to the merger of three state agencies, Seneca was director of public affairs for the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

Seneca joined the N.C. Department of Agriculture in 1990, and also worked in the Division of Water Quality, He was deputy press secretary and policy adviser for the governor, and was communications director for the Department of Transportation.

Seneca is survived by his wife, Julie. Funeral services haven't been announced.