Local citizen Jay Calendine filed a motion in Lee County Superior Court today to drop his complaint against the Lee County Board of Commissioners and three individual commissioners for their part in a public meeting in the gated Carolina Trace community in March that violated state open meeting laws.
The injunction, filed under North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law, had survived a previous legal challenge. On May 5, the Board voted to place the entire financial burden of the case upon the Lee County taxpayers, thus shielding the three commissioners from any individual consequences and saddling the county with the cost of defeat. Calendine said that decision ultimately led him to drop his case, as to not burden taxpayers, he said.
“I believe that [board chairman] Charlie Parks and the board leadership know full well that the actions of the board on March 7 were against the law,” said Calendine. “But, rather than admit this, they have ensured that the consequences written into state law would fall on the taxpayer alone. We would have won our case, but the county would have given the bill to the taxpayers. I filed the motion to hold this board accountable to state law, not to profit financially.”
Links to previous Rant stories on this meeting are below.
- March 4: County revises public notice after legality of meeting is questioned
- March 6: Trace public meeting more resembles GOP rally
- March 12: Email shows commissioners were previously warned of liability of meeting
- March 18: County releases full memo of email warning commissioners
- March 19: Commissioner apologizes for Carolina Trace meeting
- April 4: Lawsuit filed over meeting at Trace subdivision
- April 15: Motions in illegal meeting lawsuit to be heard
- May 8: County OKs taxpayer money to defend individual commissioners