Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rhino Times John Hammer shills for Justin Outling and the rest of Roy Carroll's minions on City Council

"Politics Make Mountain Out of Molehill for Councilmember Outling

No one raised the issue of a potential conflict of interest when City Councilmember Justin Outling made the motion, and then voted in favor of ending the request for proposal (RFP) process for the city health insurance contract at the July 18 City Council meeting.

As the rest of City Council are cowards, 
or they don't understand what a conflict of interest is, 
or are so conflicted themselves they can't bring up another
for fear of retaliation, like Mike Barber and First Tee of the Triad, 
which John Hammer is too much of a crooked journalist to write about

The motion passed on a 6-to-3 vote with Outling voting in favor of his motion to end the RFP process and the City Council moved on.

Those who voted in favor just got a whole lot of votes
from many of the 3,500 United Health employees who live in the City,
and Justin got a pat on the back from United's lobbyists
and earned this year's bonus at work, which will make no mention of any of this

But Beloved Community Center activist and former attorney Lewis Pitts has filed a complaint with the North Carolina Bar Association alleging that Outling had a conflict of interest and should be sanctioned.

Good idea

Isn't Lewis Pitts an attorney, and if so, 
why didn't Roy's boy John Hammer mention it?

Questions have been raised about that vote because Outling is an attorney with Brooks Pierce, which does work for UnitedHealthcare (UHC), one of the two companies that participated in the RFP process.

Which makes his actions a conflict of interest,
but this propaganda is about defending Roy Carroll's financial interests, 
and getting the current bought and paid for City Coucil re-elected,
and not about telling any truths that would interefere 
with the actual purpose of the Rhino Times, 
which is now about advocating for Roy Carroll's financial interests

Outling said last week that he didn't even think it was a close call.

What was he supposed to say?

Outling said that if he was found to have a conflict of interest the city would have to revise its long-standing policy on conflicts of interest, which he said was fine with him as long as the city didn't have "A special Justin Outling policy."


But Outling said he would follow the advice of City Attorney Tom Carruthers, and if Carruthers said that he had a conflict of interest he would take whatever action was necessary.

The City Manager works at the pleasure of City Council, 
along with the City Attorney, 
so both the Manager and the Attorney work for City Council, 
which conflicts with the best interests of the taxpaying electorate

This week Carruthers issued his opinion on Outling's vote and Carruthers agrees it isn't a close call.
According to Carruthers, Outling was required to vote on the matter because he had no conflict of interest that would allow him to be recused.

It's up to the rest of Council to decide what is or isn't a conflict of interest, 
not the City Attorney, who really represents City Council, 
just as the Police Department Attorney represents the Police Department etc...,
but Hammer doesn't care about the truth, only locking down the votes
for Roy Carroll's finanancial interests, 
which has reaped a $30 million parking deck, the end of Lindsey Street, 
a water line under I-40, infrastructure for his new hotels etc...

...Carruthers, in his memo to the City Council, states that it is a limited opinion on this one vote.  Some of the factors that Carruthers lists are that this was not voting to award a contract but to end an RFP process.


Carruthers states, "There is no direct or indirect financial interest in this termination that falls within the law cited above."  The "laws cited above" are the City Charter and state statutes on conflicts of interest, which require either a direct or indirect financial interest.

Mr. Carruthers opinion shouldn't be taken into account, 
as City Council can fire him at will, which means he works for them, 
not the rest of us

He also notes that Outling is not a partner in the Brooks Pierce law firm but an associate of the firm.

"(e1) A member of the board or any other body 
exercising quasi‑judicial functions
...shall not participate in or vote 
on any quasi‑judicial matter in a manner 
that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights 
to an impartial decision maker. 

Impermissible conflicts include, but are not limited to, 
a member having a fixed opinion
prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change, 
undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business, 
or other associational relationship with an affected person, 
or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter. 

If an objection is raised to a member's participation
and that member does not recuse himself or herself, 
the remaining members shall by majority vote rule on the objection.

§ 160A‑388. 

Partners in a law firm share in the profits of the firm; associates are employees who are paid a salary.  As Outling noted, there is no way that the work the law firm does for UHC would affect his salary.

There are several ways, as John Hammer fails to point out, 
like not getting or getting a raise or a new client, a partnership
or a nice bonus this year for example, 
but as John has publicly admitted, he doesn't give a siht anymore about the truth, 
he just want to survive and be comfortable in his later years,
as opposed to being an actual journalist

Carruthers also notes that Brooks Pierce was representing UHC on an entirely unrelated matter and the law firm had no part in the RFP process.

"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, 
direct or indirect,
in any proposed contract with the city 
or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services
to the city or to a contractor supplying the city,
shall make known that interest
 and shall refrain from voting upon
or otherwise participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee
 who willfully conceals such a financial interest
or willfully violates the requirements of this Section
shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position 
and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section 
with the knowledge expressed or implied 
of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city
shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter

...Outling said that the city didn't want to define conflict of interest in way that would make it impossible for someone who worked in the private sector to be a city councilmember.

Mayor and Council:

...What must be considered is if a conflict of interest exists 
either under N.C.G.S. §§160A-75 or 14-234, or the City of Greensboro’s Charter, 
or the City’s Conflict of Interest Policy. 

...Direct or indirect benefits are considered under the City’s conflict of interest policy
and typically involve financial interests for the Councilmember, 
his or her immediate family, their partner, 
or an organization which employs or is about to employ the member, 
family member or partner...


S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan

...Outling added ...that evidently they couldn't find anything in his voting record to attack, so they came up with something else.

Nothing John Hammer or the News and Record could go after, 
as any of his taxpayer give away votes would implicate the rest of council,
which Roy, Marty, Randall, Koury and the Melvin's of Greensboro
have spent so much time, money and effort to purchase and control,
and listing events the 'news' organizations didn't cover directly after the fact 
would implicate the Rhino and the News and Record for journalistic negligence

Outling said that as long as all the councilmembers were held to the same standard, he had no problem complying, but he added that simply because someone worked for a nonprofit didn't mean that there were no possible conflicts of interest.

Score a win for Greensboro blogger George Hartzman...

Hartzman vocally questioned whether Mayor Robbie Perkins 
should be voting on an economic incentives payout to a Park View Development, 
the business entity for Center Point 
— for which Perkins serves as a listing agent 
in his role as a commercial real estate broker...

Perkins also happens to live in the building.

Interim City Attorney Jamiah Waterman ruled that Perkins had no conflict of interest.

Three days later Waterman was eating his opinion: 

“Upon further review, it can reasonably be argued that Mayor Perkins 
was subjected to a potential financial detriment, 
e.g. the potential loss of his real estate listings with Park View Development LLC.

As such, I am revising my prior opinion to reflect that Mayor Perkins
appears to have an impermissible conflict of interest in this matter.

While the item passed unanimously, 
I am recommending that: 
(1) on April 16th the city council votes to excuse Mayor Perkins from this item; 
and (2) the remaining disinterested council members vote 
on the amendment to the general fund budget.”

Jordan Green

Councilmember Mike Barber is recused from voting on anything that has to do with Gillespie Park because he is president of First Tee of the Triad, which has a working agreement with Gillespie Park to use its facilities for First Tee programs.

No mention of how Hartzman made that happen

...When reopening the White Street Landfill to municipal solid waste was an issue, then Councilmember Nancy Vaughan was recused because then City Councilmember Don Vaughan, who was her husband at that time, had a contract with one of the companies that was bidding on the project.

And Zack Matheny, while a city councilmember, was also recused because the company he worked for was doing business with one of the companies that was bidding on a project.  But then City Councilmember Robbie Perkins was not recused despite the fact that his company had contracts with one of the companies involved..."

Mike Barber needs to recuse himself on Greensboro City Council's vote to replace Zack Matheny; Justin Outling Edition


Zack Matheny and Mike Barber need to recuse themselves from the Megasite Water and Sewer vote


Mike Barber's First Tee of the Triad's 2013 IRS Form 990; Mike took a 20% raise, and 21% of First Tee's revenue as income


Mike Barber admitting he misled Greensboro's taxpayers and electorate on the Aquatic Center


This looks like why Mike Barber freaked out about naming salaries of non profits doing business with Greensboro.


From Mike Barber's City Council Economic Interest Disclosure signed on February 24, 2014


Arthur Winstead Jr., Treasurer for Mike Barber's City Council Campaign, appears to have given $250 and didn't get paid, but charged First Tee a relatively higher $15,000


"Wyndham Worldwide donates $100,000 to [Mike Barber's] Bryan Foundation subsidized First Tee [of the Triad, whose Board Member is Mark Brazil]"


I just received a phone call from City of Greensboro Councilman Mike Barber on First Tee of the Triad


It's been 55 days since the News and Record didn't report Marty Kotis getting $600,000 from Greensboro's taxpayers to design a bike path inside a consent agenda


"Key downtown property owners [who have received a great deal of Greensboro taxpayer money] back DGI for contract" [for their lobbyist, Zack Matheny]


Marty Kotis' Tony Wilkins contribution before Tony voted to give Marty a $3 million building for $900,000


ITG's Neil Koonce, whose Cone Mills gets free methane from the White Street Landfill for Wilbur Ross, second found contribution; MariKay AbuZuaiter


Why should a community in stagnation subsidize Marty Kotis, who, according to Roy Carroll's Rhino Times, is worth more than $100,000,000, whose new projects take business away from the less connected?


Proof how corrupt Greensboro's local press is, along with Greensboro's elected leadership


Nancy and Don Vaughan Political Graft?; Don's payments from ITG while Nancy served on the Solid Waste Committee


"Our city has never shied away from difficult discussions" Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan


Nancy Vaughan (D) Pre Election Campaign Finance Report; (R) Marty Kotis - $1,000 and Roy Carroll


Marty Kotis angling for more city of Greensboro money, using taxpayer funded Zack Matheny as his lobbyist; "City might help"


AMEX, Robbie Perkins and Roy Carroll Stealing from Greensboro's Taxpayers?


Here's Robbie trying to get some incentives for his friends right before he left office;


"Hotel decision should wait for new council"


Ethical Responsibilities of the Governing Body of the City of Greensboro


Let's not forget about Zack, Roy and the Curfew: How much more could Roy and friends make, if they use the government to eliminate their downtown competition?


Zack Matheny on Incentives


What other properties did AMEX look at other than Roy's and Richard's?


A democracy will continue to exist
up until the time that voters discover
that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury

From that moment on
the majority always votes for the candidates
who promise the most benefits…
with the result that every democracy
will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…

…nations always progressed through the following sequence

From bondage to spiritual faith
from spiritual faith to great courage
from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance
from abundance to complacency
from complacency to apathy
from apathy to dependence
from dependence back into bondage