Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fallout And The Aftermath

Greensboro's elites, the Greensboro City Council, high ranking city staff and local main stream media outlets would like for you to believe that no one reads this website, that nothing the team here at does is of any consequence and that none of them waste their time reading what is written on these pages. The following post will prove them wrong. They read everything we write and cringe at the thought that our readership might grow.

Well it didn't take long after I posted Are Council Members Operating A Brothel? before I got the following e-mail from Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers:

"On Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Carruthers, Tom <> wrote:
Billy, I  have a question,  please give me a call.


Thomas D. Carruthers
City Attorney
Office of the City Attorney
300 West Washington Street
PO Box 3136
Greensboro, NC 27402-2320"

I replied:

"Let's keep all communications via e-mail so a record can be kept. Keeps everyone honest. Your question is?"

A bit later Tom e-mailed me back:

"I listened to the April tape and the May tape. The April tape mentions that there was an earlier closed session briefing also discussing Lost Dimensions (Sugar Bare).  Do you want that as well?  Do you also want the final consent judgment entered in the case?

Attorney Reavis was the City’s attorney.  No money was paid to the Defendants or Defendants’ attorney.


I answered:

"I want everything." 

Why not, since Tom brought up that there's more why not get it out into the open. If Council is innocent we'll prove it on these pages. If not they can hang here as well.

At 1:35 PM I got the following from Katherine Carter:

"Dear Mr. Jones,

We have the audio from the April 6, 2010 meeting that you requested regarding Sugar Bares, and also the same for the May 5, 2010 meeting to provide clarification regarding the terms of the settlement.  Due to the size of the file, we cannot send them via email.  Instead, a copy has been burned into a CD, and you may pick this up at the City Information Desk on the plaza level of the Melvin Municipal Office Building between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  

Please also find the attached Consent Judgment and Final Order of Abatement.

Also, I understand that Tom Carruthers has been in touch with you regarding other information concerning this matter.   We are awaiting feedback from our legal department with regard to that information, and will be in touch soon.

I hope this information is helpful.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator"

Here's a link to the Consent Judgement and Final Order of Abatement. It verifies what Mr Carruthers wrote: "Attorney Reavis was the City’s attorney.  No money was paid to the Defendants or Defendants’ attorney."  

At 1:57 PM Tom Carruthers wrote:

"The March session mentions a January session, getting that next.


I answered:
"Thanks Tom, when will I be able to get that?


They had the Consent Judgement and Final Order of Abatement as well as a CD available for me same day but it wasn't until the next day that I picked it up. They made their 5:00 deadline but what did the information they sent me prove? 

You know what I still can't figure out: why take the proceeding into closed session when they knew they had the case won and would be settling out of court? The Consent Judgement reads like an open and shut case. Do they not understand how this looks in the eyes of voters who are constantly complaining there isn't enough transparency in government when they feel the need to hide decisions based on an open and shut case?

Maybe what we read next will enlighten us as to the City Council's actions.

Katherine then sent me the following e-mail:

"Dear Mr. Jones,

Please fin, due to the size of the file, we cannot send this information via email.  Instead, a copy has been burned into a CD, and you may pick this up at the City Information Desk on the plaza level of the Melvin Municipal Office Building between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Fridnd the attached minutes from the meetings held on January 19, 2010 and March 16, 2010.  A copy of the audio recording from the meeting on January 19, 2010 is also available.  Once agaiay.  

I hope this information is helpful.  Should you have any further questions, please let me know.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator"

Attached Meeting Minutes 

 After reading the earlier meeting minutes and listening to the recordings I have a better idea as to why the meetings were held in closed session. Next up is the 3 recordings of the closed session council meetings that were sent to me. As they weren't labeled as to which one was which I'm making my best guess as to their correct order.

Audio 1

Audio 2

Audio 3

So it appears the Greensboro City Council is not running a brothel. But I'm curious. When I posted Greensboro Women, What Would You Do If You Were Married To A Pimp? a number of people became very angry with me despite the fact that I mentioned no names.  

Someone identifying himself only as David H left the following comment there: 

On the night of August 19, Developer Marty Kotis called me on my cell phone late at night, angry about a completely unrelated matter-- an e-mail I had sent to him and lots of others but not to Mayor Vaughan or her husband. Mr Kotis tried to claim my actions would contribute to a worsening of food deserts in East Greensboro. (Yeah, absurd, I know.) When Mr Kotis began loosing his argument he changed the conversation to accuse me of having written terrible things about Mayor Vaughan and her husband Donald Vaughan.

At that point I hung up the telephone as I realized I was talking with a guilty man who was trying to turn his guilt on others. Marty Kotis won't challenge me on this as I've lots of e-mails he'd rather I never make public including the e-mail that led to his telephone call that night. Protecting sources is one thing but I have no need to protect people who stab me and my community in our backs.

Other people gave me grief as well. Most behind my back like the cowards that they are. But prior to my Sunday, August 30, 2015 post, Are Council Members Operating A Brothel? I never mentioned Nancy Vaughan, Donald Vaughan or anyone on the Greensboro City Council as possible owners of a brothel in Costa Rica.

Now what do my critics know that I don't know and what are their connections? 

Still not sure? Start with Greensboro Women, What Would You Do If You Were Married To A Pimp? and read the entire series back to here. You'll understand.

And there could be more to come as I'm still sitting on things I've yet to tell. But remember: I haven't named anybody, Marty Kotis did.

It was Marty Kotis who arranged a March meeting between he, Mayor Vaughan and myself in the offices of Kotis Properties to work out a deal between the Mayor and I. Marty did most of the talking as if he and Nancy had already gone over everything Nancy wanted but was afraid to ask. The Mayor agreed to the City of Greensboro providing full funding for the remaining money needed for the Renaissance Community Cooperative provided I would remove certain damaging posts from this blog. The posts she seemed most concerned about were posts connecting her business partner Paul Mengurt to Heritage House. Posts which contained copies of checks written from a bank account bearing Paul Mengert's AMG office address.

This was done without the knowledge or approval of the board of the RCC.

I didn't sleep for a week or more. It was as if I had made a deal with the Devil herself. I tried to justify my actions by telling myself I had lied (lies of omission) on behalf of the community as I had asked nothing for myself. I'm not on the board of the RCC, I'm not employed by the RCC, I don't represent the RCC, I haven't even scraped up the $100 membership fee-- I just believed then and still believe our community needs a cooperative grocery store owned by the community.

I got sick to my stomach, my hiatal hernia and acid reflux returned for the first time in years.

A few days after our meeting I e-mailed Mayor Vaughan to tell her I had removed the blog posts that concerned her so. She never replied back but I have a copy of the e-mail.

April and May passed, then June and it became quite apparent that Mayor Vaughan had no intentions of keeping her promise to me and East Greensboro. The City of Greensboro never fully funded the RCC and it was quite apparent from watching City Council meetings and reading the news that Mayor Vaughan had made no effort to do so. She even went so far as to try to pass part of the responsibility off to Guilford County.

Along about June I re-posted the articles without making any noise about having done so. You see, I had never deleted them, I simply removed them from public view.  Clicking on Heritage House and Nancy Vaughan will take you to over 300 articles-- most of them very damming for our mayor.

Yes, I did agree not to blog about our meeting but that was yet another lie of omission Mayor Vaughan was demanding I keep. What I did was wrong, my gut told me so even if I thought I was doing it for the right reasons. And for that I'm sorry.

But I will never apologize for exposing the corruption that exists in Greensboro government.

And Mr Kotis: Your father, Bill Kotis Sr bought the property at Wendover and the Urban Loop when I was a young man-- what 30 plus years ago?. I'm 59 years old now and there is no grocery store there yet.

You own 20 plus acres of commercial property in the community of Richardson Village on the border of East Greensboro. There is no grocery store there.

Marty Kotis, you own a strip mall on Bessemer Avenue across the street from McKnight Hardware next door to the pawn shop-- no grocery store there either.

You also own the shopping center at the intersection of Cone Blvd and Summit Avenue-- again, no grocery store.

Buying commercial properties in East Greensboro with "intentions" of developing them 10 to 20 years into the future is not investing in East Greensboro. It's called investing in your portfolio.

And when you invest in your portfolio you drive up the cost of commercial properties so that others whose intentions might actually be to invest in East Greensboro become even more expensive and thereby more difficult. You hurt the short and long term economy of our community with your speculative investments.

It's a free country Mr Kotis, you're a rich man and can buy whatever you can get people to sell to you but you are anything but our economic savior, you are, along with the politicians you buy, like Nancy Barakat Vaughan, economic predators.


Please continue reading Greensboro Women, What Would You Do If You Were Married To A Pimp? Part 7