Civil Rights Museum loan frozen by Greensboro City Council

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The city council agreed Tuesday night to not execute a loan agreement with the International Civil Rights Museum.

The move comes as the $750,000 tax dollar loan has already been handed over and part of it spent despite museum officials never returning a signed contract to the city.

"This is the first time that I've voted on this council to legislate common sense," said Tony Wilkins, a council member from District 5 who joined the rest of the council in voting to require contracts be signed before the city ever cuts another check.

The vote came after council members questioned staff members on the loan and who gave museum officials an extension to turn over required audits.

"We have not been able to find any records of that extension," said City Manager Jim Westmoreland, who informed the council that former City Manager Denise Turner Roth told him she granted the museum a verbal extension without telling the city council.

"It was all verbal and we were not notified of it," questioned Wilkins. "Correct," said Westmoreland. "That's what I understand from her."

Adding to the controversy, Westmoreland told council members Roth granted the verbal extension while she was a member of the Civil Rights Museum Board of Directors.

As of Tuesday evening all the parties involved had still not signed the contract.

In a meeting earlier in the day the city council sent a list of questions to the Civil Rights Museum board they want answers to by next week.

17 comments

  • FaithC

    “former City Manager Denise Turner Roth”…is she not the one who is headed to DC? If so, she will fit right in. Shady deals here and I am sure shady deals there.

  • Will Grant

    Was the vote unanimous? The article states that City Council “agreed” but doesn’t specify the vote. Just wondering how District 1 voted, hopefully she is brighter than that embarrassment of a member that used to “occupy” that spot.

  • David Hedgecock

    Here’s another perfect example of the shoddy financial dealings and the corruption on the Greensboro City Council. We have one person who has a clear Conflict of Interest since she was a one time member of the Civil Rights Commision;;and then she give a verbal assent to give the money;;;without the full vote and signatures of the rest of the City Council.And now with $750,000 of the Greensboro tax payers money down the drain or rabbit hole or in the pockets of the corrupt Civil Rights Commision. Isn’t that about IT! It just goes to show you where their mind is on the City Council;;;Who is in charge of Financial Matters? There should be no question;;This just stinks, stinks to high heaven! There should be some firings for all on the Council who had anthing to do with this theft of Tax Payers’ money! You watch they will just stall and delay;;till they hope the public, the Media and tax payers forget about this Thievery. Heads should roll;;;and someone needs to re-sign. The Mayor should be involved and clean this up! Greensboro deserves better than this stinking mess! Where is their accountability;;Where is the apology to the City and the tax payers? Will anyone have enough shame to ‘fall on their sword’ here;;; it certainly won’t be that person that has the Clear conflict of interest that favors the Civil Rights Commision. What a Mess and a shame for Greensboro!

  • David Hedgecock

    What I’m suggesting is that this Con goes deeper than Denise Turner Roth;;who’s now headed to DC to join the likes of can anyone say Mayor Marion Barry? How is it that a one time member of the Civil Rights Commision with a clear Conflict of interest gives her vote and assent to the loan;;;ans Shazam! a check for almost a MILLION DOLLARS ;;;gets sent down the line, wrote and delivered with the rest of the Council voting their approval? How in the world does that happened? Seems someone or some people are Fixing the Lottery with tax payers’s dollars. It’s bazarr! that one persone with former membership on the Civil Rights Commision who’s now headed out of town gets a check wrote and delivered for a million dollars? Get to the bottom of this corruption and theivery;;;Follow the money;;;this should not be too hard to see what went wront;;;and fix it;;for good! This is Shameful! I’m wondering if this could have been pulled off without the tacit approval of some other Council members behind the scenes, who gave their tacit approval for this Con and theft with a silent condition that if it was found out and heat applied later;;that they could deny their collusion and participation and approval. Now that it’s been found out, and heat being applied, they’re all in denial and ‘running for the tall grass;;and seeking who and what caused this. This just stinks! The N.C. attorney General should already be looking into this;;along with the investigation of the High Point Mayor. What is going on ? in the Triad?It would be nice to belong to a club where one member (now leaving) somehow has the power and where with all to get a check wrote for a MILLION DOLLARS??? How does that happen;;;? Who wrote it and how did it get by the City Manager;; without him or his office catching it? Who signed it if he didn’t? FOLLOW THE MONEY! I’m wondering if there wern’t some laws broke with this extortion and /or theft???

    • Frank McCorkle

      David, you keep railing on about a supposed conflict with a council person you will not name for her role in the “Civil Rights Commision [sic].”

      I’d like to know more about that but I’ve never heard of a local Civil Right Commission. Are you talking about the Federal Civil Rights Commission from1957? If that’s it, what’s the conflict? You are angry about something that is not clear to us.

  • FaithC

    I see my stalker is back, this time calling himself “the dork”. It is sad the only thing you have to do is to comment on my comments.

  • Savanarola (@mfscotto)

    Classic example of a logical fallacy; and this time we get the bonus irony! A non-response to the content of the post noting a supposed lack of education which contains the intellectual powerhouse sentence, “your comments show us what no education you have.” Show us what no education you have? Pray tell, what sort of education did you receive to construct such a poor sentence? Perhaps it is you who should not “re produce”.

    This nation is in serious trouble. When we can look at such corruption and be more concerned with our agenda and with personal attacks than with transparency and responsibility, we have revealed a lack of character that will lead to our eventual ruin.

  • SherryB

    I was never in favor of giving them another dime. They wanted that museum so bad and yet the very group they catered to didn’t show up in masses like was planned for. Had it been properly over seen and managed from the beginning, it should have been self supporting and not needed a bailout/loan.. That is MY tax money and I resent the way this whole fiasco was handled..And then to not even get a signed contract is beyond comprehension.. Turner-Roth got out of town just in time, now in D.C where she indeed will fit right in with the rest up there.. Conflict of interest that should have never been allowed, verbal agreements with nothing backed up in writing, or even informing the Council of what was going on? And she was suppose to be a professional? I hope the museum doesn’t get another penny, if they can’t make their project work then scrap it and sell the property to a developer who will build something there to benefit ALL the people of Greensboro instead of a chosen group..

  • Stephen

    Lock up everyone involved here until they pay restitution to the city. Close down the museum and liquidate the assets (if any). Oh wait….that will be considered racism…

  • carlos

    are the same people the ran detroit and chicago, running greensboro? this supposed “museum” needs to lock the doors for good!

  • sinnerfrank

    Same old game now that (part of the money) has been spent,can’t anyone produce a new and just audit!! This guy that was in charge gave his self a seat on the board just to protect his self,no secret of his and Roth’s conspiracy to defraud and rob funds from the museum!!

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