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.
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