DURHAM N.C. (WNCN) -– Durham city leaders met for the first time publicly on Monday since multiple allegations were made against one of their own previously.
The council started with multiple celebrations honoring people and institutions that help shape their city and a timely April proclamation of peace.
“I hereby, and declare, peace over this chamber,” Mayor Elaine O’Neal said. “I hereby, and declare, and decree peace over this city hall. I hereby declare and decree peace over this council. I hereby decree and declare peace over our employees. I hereby decree and declare peace over all the city of Durham.”
The meeting comes after a contentious work session in March following allegations of ethics violations against council member Monique Holsey-Hyman.
Councilmembers confirmed Holsey-Hyman is the council person accused of offering support to a developer in exchange for campaign donations.
City leaders also addressed concerns of Holsey-Hyman’s work with a city staffer for campaign purposes.
The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the actions.
“I ask that we allow law enforcement to do its job while we continue to stay focused and move our city forward,” O’Neal said Monday.
While Holsey-Hyman did not directly address the issue, she spoke about her passion for service.
“When I put my name in the hat to be a city council member it was about service. It was not about a title, it was not about power, it was about service,” Holsey-Hyman said. “So I am going to leave this with people, passion, collaboration and service for all people of Durham, which is in my heart.”
Councilmembers did not continue discussions of censuring Holsey-Hyman.
Finally, the Durham District Attorney released a statement last week saying in part that read, “The existence of an allegation or inquiry is not on its own confirmation of a violation of the law.”