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Posted on: November 22, 2017

Independent Counsel Reports on Ethics Investigation

Town Council member-elect Christine Kelly made an ethics complaint pursuant to Town Policy P-021.2 against Mayor Dick Sears, Town Council members Hank Dickson, James Cobb and Cheri Lee, and Town Attorney John Schifano on Oct. 17, 2017. 

Due to the nature of the allegations, the town manager's office contacted the general counsel for the N.C. League of Municipalities for recommendations of firms that could conduct an independent investigation. Katie Weaver Hartzog, with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog of Raleigh, was selected to investigate Ms. Kelly’s complaint. 

Ms. Hartzog conducted an investigation and created a report regarding her investigation and findings. Ms. Hartzog found that no ethics violations had been committed by Dick Sears, Hank Dickson, James Cobb, Cheri Lee, or John Schifano. The investigation report, along with the transcript of the interview and all of the documentation submitted for review, are provided below.

Documents

Investigation Report regarding Christine Kelly's ethics complaint

Transcript of interview with Ms. Kelly

Exhibit 1 - Ms. Kelly's ethics complaint and signed town official acknowledgement form for Code of Ethics and Conduct 

Exhibit 2 - Ms. Kelly's ethics complaint (continued)

Exhibit 3 - Supplementary documentation provided by Ms. Kelly

Exhibit 4 - Supplementary documentation provided by Ms. Kelly

Exhibit 5 - Supplementary documentation provided by Ms. Kelly

Exhibit 6 - Supplementary documentation provided by Ms. Kelly

Exhibit 7 - Documentation provided by John Schifano

Exhibit 8 - Documentation provided by Town Clerk Joni Powell

Exhibit 9 - Additional documentation provided by Ms. Kelly

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