We’ve told all of you about the hot mess that IS Pinehurst village government. The city manager is openly fighting with a sitting council member. That member, Lydia Boesch, has lawyered up and is aggressively seeking answers and documentation from Village Hall.
A former member, Kevin Drum, has lawyered up as well. We understand that the attorneys for BOTH individuals and their attorneys have sought a load of emails, under the Freedom of Information Act, from Village Hall.
Both attorneys and their clients are also considering legal action against the village. Accusations have been floating around about, among other things, violations of Open Meetings laws and use of village government assets for political purposes.
It is our understanding that the lawyers are seeking emails from seven different sources: (1) the village manager, (2) the village’s HR director, (3) the village’s police chief, (4) mayor John Strickland, (5) council member Jane Hogeman, (6) former council member Judy Lewis, and (7) new council member Patrick Pizzella.
(*There’s a lesson for you, kids. Don’t write about personal stuff on your work email account.*)
Personally, I am wondering HOW village attorney Mike Newman is still representing the village in this mess. At least one of the two lawyered up parties, Boesch, is a currently-seated council member. That would make her currently a client of Newman’s while she has secured a private lawyer. How is it ethical for an attorney, who represents the council AND village employees, to continue representing them while they are in a dispute with a current council member?
(Perhaps Mr. Newman is waiting until something is filed with the court before recusing himself.)
Remember, this ALL got started on October 12 when the mayor decided to convene an “ethics” tribunal in open session against Boesch and then-councilman Drum. From their reactions to that news, it would appear that neither Boesch nor Drum were informed about this tribunal in advance of the meeting. (At the time, Drum was almost three weeks away from a hotly-contested election to keep his seat.)
I spotted at least one known friend / political crony of the mayor boasting on social media, well before the meeting on the 12th, that “ethics” charges were coming for two village council members. (*Gosh, I wonder how he knew and Boesch and Drum did not?*)