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.

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