Saturday, October 22, 2016

Illegal Act; "[News & Record] asks city to release audio of private meeting"

"The News & Record is asking to hear the City Council’s private deliberations about a public matter: whether Councilwoman Sharon Hightower should be able to review reports about a controversial police misconduct case.

On Wednesday, the newspaper asked City Attorney Tom Carruthers to release a recording and minutes of a closed meeting the council held Tuesday.

The council voted 5-4 during the private meeting not to let Hightower see notes and other material about the Greensboro Police Department’s investigation into former Officer Travis Cole.

Illegal Act

The state’s open meetings law prohibits the council from taking votes in private.

The recording and minutes of the closed meeting should be made public asap

Hightower and Mayor Nancy Vaughan revealed the vote when members resumed their meeting in public.

Greensboro's City Council broke the law,
with at least three attorney's likely in the room at the time,
Barber, Caruthers and Outling

Their disclosure, which revealed an inappropriate and possibly illegal vote, also “waived the council’s right to confidentiality, and nullified the attorney-client privilege,” the News & Record wrote in the letter.

“The public, therefore, has a right to review the discussion.”


Carruthers said Friday that he is considering the News & Record’s request and will provide his opinion soon.

City Council took a shit on Carruthers with this mess

Hightower has been asking to see the reports from the Cole investigation since Sept. 20. That’s when council members voted to let the public see footage of Cole’s conduct June 17 during a call about a possible robbery.

Which violated Charlotte Jackson's personell confidentiality

Cole and then-Officer Charlotte Jackson were investigating a call about a possible robbery at Yourse’s mother’s house. Footage shows Cole punching Yourse in the face.

The police department 
continued to investigate Jackson’s role in the Yourse incident, 
when she resigned from the department, two days after the video was released.

Greensboro Police Officers Association

The police department’s internal investigation determined that Cole used too much force and violated the police department’s rules about search and seizure.

That prompted the council to air the footage, request additional investigations and call for changes in the department’s policies on how it investigates misuse of police power.

The association said it supports the due process of Cole 
but did not support the “violation of Jackson’s legal right.”

Council members, particularly Hightower, have asked questions about why police officials waited until August — nearly two months after the original incident — to place Cole on paid leave and start an official internal investigation.

The council held the private meeting Tuesday to consider whether Hightower could see reports Cole’s supervisors wrote about the incident.

When the public meeting resumed, Hightower said the council tried to “shut me down and not get me the information I asked for.”

Community activists and members of Black Lives Matter then loudly demanded to hear an accounting of how each council member voted.

Cole tried to question Yourse about any outstanding warrants which Yourse responded, “not that I know of.”

Mr. Yourse also stated he is not afraid to go back to prison

After Yourse was in custody, 
Cole and Jackson discovered two active warrants for his arrest. 

Vaughan told them: She, Hightower and council members Jamal Fox and Yvonne Johnson wanted to let Hightower see the reports.

Council members Marikay Abuzuaiter, Mike Barber, Nancy Hoffmann, Justin Outling and Tony Wilkins didn’t, the mayor said.

On Friday, Hightower and Vaughan defended their actions.

Hightower and Vaughan seem to be wishing for social unrest in Greensboro

Hightower said she never intended to make the contents of the information public, but wanted to review the information herself to help form an opinion about the how the police department conducts such investigations.

It was also discovered Yourse was charged
with breaking and entering into his mother’s house, 
2 Mistywood Court, twice in the past.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan expressed her disdain for the video after it was shown, 
calling it “brutal” and apologizing to Yourse.

Vaughan said the private discussion didn’t concern a pending legal matter, an economic development project, a personnel issue or other matters council members can discuss privately.

The council voted, she said, and that closed the matter.

“Once a matter is closed, it can be disclosed,” she said.

But other council members were rankled by what they view as a breach of protocol and a violation of trust.

Nancy Vaughan ratted out her council-members
and they are pissed, not because she was supposed to publicly disclose what should have been,
but because she didn't keep her mouth shut after an illegal vote

Outling, an attorney, said elected officials must be able to trust that when they discuss legally protected matters in private, those matters will stay private.

But Outling doesn't appear to be saying the vote shouldn't have been private,
but it was discourteous to tell the public what they should have known, 
meaning Justin doesn't really give a shit about what's legal or not, 
just what's kept out of the public eye or not

He said he was disappointed that some of his colleagues on the council decided to disclose the private deliberations.

What else has been privately deliberated behind closed doors
that should have been public Justin?

“It may not be illegal, but it’s not best practice,” he said. “It’s a serious thing.”

Fuck Justin Outling

“I believe it is a Class 1 misdemeanor,” said Barber, an attorney, referring to the penalty for revealing personnel information to the public.

He also questioned why the discussion took place privately. “Our city leadership can’t take just anything into closed session based on an inability to control the meeting or one or two talkative council members,” he said...

As for the association’s claims that the council broke the law
in releasing Jackson’s video, 
Hightower responded “Seven of us voted for it.”