WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If there’s anything you can say about New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Thompson it’s you know where he stands. Wednesday Thompson challenged the mayor of Leland to set the record straight after the mayor accused Thompson of having a conflict of interest in the proposed Cape Fear Skyway project.
It was trash talk between Leland Mayor Walter Futch and Thompson.
“What got me upset was him saying I had property or financial gain in getting the Skyway bridge passed, so I got him a list of property owners, and I am not on there, none of my family is on there and no business that I own is on there. I said, ‘You need to retract your statements,'” Thompson told WWAY Thursday night.
Thompson says all he wanted was to set the record straight with Futch and Wilmington’s Transportation Advisory Committee.
A tape recorder at Wednesday’s meeting caught their conversation.
“If you’re going to make accusations like that, Mr. Mayor, you need to do that and get your facts right,” Thompson said. “I’m going to give you an opportunity to get the facts. Let me cut to the chase here. We are going to lay the facts out on your statements tonight, and I’m going to give you an opportunity to apologize to me. And based on what you say, I might accept it or I might not. And then we will deal with it thereafter.”
Thompson was talking about comments recorded at a previous meeting he missed. The minutes of the meeting show Futch questioning Thompson’s ethics. Futch said a recent article in the StarNews led him to believe Thompson had a conflict of interest in the Skyway project.
“‘The commissioners voted three to one with commissioner Bobby Greer voting against. Chairman Jason Thompson recused himself because his business is located in a proposed corridor,'” Futch quoted the StarNews report when asked Thursday night about Thompson’s confrontation, “and I was quite surprised at that, and I think if you read the minutes of the meeting, it said that I was surprised to find that that was the case.”
Wednesday, Thompson tried to tell Futch he had bad information.
“So those are the facts, sir. Are you ready to apologize?” Thompsons said.
Futch answered, “No, I’m not ready to apologize.”
Thompson replied, “Well, you’re gonna need to or you’re gonna be very likely to need… I’ll tell you, you are very lucky, sir, that I have received the gospel and do not seek vengeance, because a few years ago I would have taken you out in this parking lot and addressed you like the man you want to be. Let’s walk outside, and I’ll show you right now. Are you ready to do that? Or are you going to sit there in your Huggies and wet yourself?”
The pair never went to the parking lot, but Thompson did meet with Futch after the meeting was over.
“In the end he apologized, and I accepted,” said Thompson.
“It’s all a big misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion, and I think Jason and I ended on amicable terms,” Futch said.