PRINCEVILLE — Two motions made and approved by the former board of commissioners were unanimously deemed illegal Monday during the town's regularly scheduled meeting.
The board also deemed the final December meeting conducted by the former board illegal as well. The motions were two of four made after a 45-minute closed session.
A letter sent to the state auditor's office in July 2013 was at the forefront of the issue. The letter was written by former town attorney, Chuck Watts, to the state auditor concerning questionable credit card purchases and travel expenses made by former Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates. Former Commissioner Isabelle Purvis Andrews, former Town Manager Maggie Boyd and former town clerk Diana Draughn's names were also mentioned in the allegations. Details of the letter were not released.
The Local Government Commission requested a July 8 meeting for the board to discuss whether or not to allow the state agency to place the questionable expenses in the town's 2012-2013 budget. The board voted against it. A yes vote would have exonerated Everette-Oates, who was charged with 17 counts of embezzlement by a government official for her alleged involvement in the scandal. Everette-Oates, who has claimed that she is innocent, is scheduled to appear in Edgecombe County Superior Court March 31 to face those charges.
During Everette-Oates' last day in office, a special meeting was called prior to the regular scheduled meeting where the board voted to rescind all actions taken. Former Commissioners Purvis-Andrews and Calvin Sherrod voted for the measure while Commissioners Ann Howell and Gwen Knight voted against it. Everette-Oates broke the tie. Because Everette-Oates' alleged involvement with the issues, the motions failed "as the former mayor was an interested party and could not legally vote to break the tie. Therefore, the vote ended in a tie," said Mayor Bobbie Jones, while reading both motions separately.
For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.