You would think — after having ridden with Tim Lea’s story about Bojangles, only to have it blow up in their faces — The Pilot would be working hard to try and regain SOME credibility with its readers.
Let’s recap: Moore County commissioner Tim Lea threw a fit in open session about discussions of an alleged land sale — in closed session — to a developer looking to build a Bojangles restaurant in Carthage. As usual, The Pilot’s scribes were there to take dictation and broadcast Tim’s wisdom to the rest of Moore County.
Then, Tim’s small, loud fan club on The Pilot.com’s message boards kicked into gear — spouting off about commissioner Larry Caddell needing to be indicted or decapitated or something for talking about Bojangles in closed session.
Well, the commissioners decided to release the audio and transcripts of the closed session to dispute the spin being put out there by Tim and his steno pool on Pennsylvania Avenue.
(There was a delay on putting the audio out because the attorney had to ensure no details about unrelated personnel matters were on the recording being released to the public.)
If you listened to the tape and read the transcripts, you learn that Tim Lea was the one who disregarded the attorney’s advice, instigated the real estate talk, and kept talking in closed session about negotiating a deal with the Bojangles developers.
From talking to other commissioners, and reviewing the released documentation, we learned that there was no deal in place. The developer had offered to buy the land upon completion of a feasibility study, and was feeling out the county’s thoughts on it all.
Lea’s colleagues on the board proposed the idea — in closed session — of a potential land swap with the developer if the developer went ahead and bought some privately-held land that was actually more desirable — and compatible — to future county government plans. THAT strategy is more in line with the Open Meetings Law. The county attorney was in the midst of reviewing that idea when Tim decided to publicly go ballistic.
Now, that it appears the Emperor (Tim) and his allegations have no clothes — it appears The Pilot is trying to just go forward and act like the screwup never happened.
EVEN IF The Pilot and Tim were correct — and there was a violation of The Open Meetings Law — no action was taken. So what is there to punish?
I want to take time to throw a wee bit more fuel on the fire. (I’m pretty good at that, I’m told.)
(Would Tim and his friends on Pennsylvania Avenue, and on the message boards, have us believe that Larry Caddell’s political influence stretches to Robeson County AND the corporate offices of Bojangles, Inc.? Wow. )