So, I pick up my clipboard that I always bring to meetings to take notes on, stand up and make my way around the right side of the room to right up to where the Board members were sitting. I should have also brought my chair as I now had to stand for the duration. But I could hear it all. I saw Stuart and Brian LeGrand and others do the same as I had done over on the left side of the room. We intended to hear what was going on in this public meeting no matter how hard the CCC Administration and (some on the) Board tried to keep us in the dark or, in this case, out of hearing range.
The first item on the meeting agenda was regarding ethics and reports of unethical behavior. From all the minutes of previous CCC Board of Trustee meetings, no conflict of interest was ever brought before the Board although several board members had obvious conflicts. This time was different.
Board member Wayne King had brought up the fact that CCC does business with Westmoreland Printers which is an obvious conflict of interest in accordance with the law as Board member Wes Westmoreland is the owner of Westmoreland Printers and stands to gain by his business with CCC. In general a CCC Board member has a conflict of interest when, among other things he or she “derives any income or commission directly or indirectly from the his business with CCC.” So, Wayne King is 100% correct. (This same situation also seems to apply to Board members Allen Langley and Greg Melton, whose terms ran out June 30, 2017.)
However, the lawyers, Ralph Meekins and Shante Martin said no, everything was all right. Wayne King wasn’t having any of that. He stated in his reading of the law that the law basically meant what the law says and he was not accepting the “advice” of the attorneys to the contrary.
Westmoreland apologized to the taxpayers of Cleveland County if he had made a mistake by any misinterpretation of the law and said he would refuse any future printing business with CCC.
Editor’s Note: Wayne King was totally correct to not blindly accept the two attorney’s advice. He had read the law and the law was clear. Wayne King as a board member, is personally responsible for his own vote ( as are the other board members) no matter what the consequences are. And the lawyers are not. You take their advice at your risk, not theirs
Wes Westmoreland was right too. Sort of. Westmoreland cannot change his past dealings with CCC but he swiftly corrected his mistake by refusing to do any more printing work for CCC. (However, Westmoreland did not offer to resign for his transgressions as many would consider appropriate.) Wouldn’t it be nice if all board members, including Westmoreland would take that approach on all the issues at CCC. This was not the end of it though. Read on.
The next item of business on the agenda was the swearing in of new Board of Trustees. Michael Cheng and Betty Carrigan were sworn in by the Cleveland County Clerk of Court Mitzi Johnson.