ONLY ON 3: Wilmington City Attorney “too tired” to answer tough questions after council meeting

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Submitted: Wed, 02/16/2011 - 1:09am
Updated: Wed, 02/16/2011 - 9:56pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — City Attorney Carolyn Johnson must have had a long day Tuesday.

Last night during a city council meeting, Mayor Bill Saffo moved to spend $700,000, which was originally approved by voters back in 2006 to be used as seed money to build a natatorium, on helping finish the cross-city trail.

We asked the mayor, because voters approved the bond money five years ago, if he thought it was OK to use it for something else. He said he does, even though the bond language never specifies it be used on a “trail.”

Councilman Charlie Rivenbark asked the mayor during the meeting if the trail was in the bond.

“Yes it is,” replied the mayor.

But when we took him the bond language and asked him to show it to us, he told us the only person that could answer that question was City Attorney Carolyn Johnson.

So, we went to Johnson to ask her, but she rudely responded that she was “too tired” to answer our question.

“Too tired” to explain to voters what the city is doing with their money. “Too tired” to tell taxpayers why it’s OK to switch to a project no one voted for.

Hopefully Johnson got some rest last night and will be able to address those questions today.


  • SurfCityTom says:

    one thing worse than an attorney who files frivilous liability litigation in the hope the Insurance Company will write a check to get the lawsuit settled.

    That’s a bureaucratic attorney. Never in court; never called upon to defend a position; easily defers questions with references to fatigue.

    If the Mayor has any scrotal fortitude, he and the Attorney will appear at a joint news conference today.

  • guesty says:

    The mayor of Wilmington having “stones”? Did you forget who was somehow elected down here? It is Saffo, the one who much like Thompson, only looks out for himself. It should be looked into what connection he has to either property located adjacent to the trail or construction company that will be performing the work. I would be willing to bet there will be a connection.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    These clowns aren’t accountable! And as far as “scrotal fortitude”…. haha… remember we are talking about a “professional politician” here!

    Folks need to remember this when it’s time to retire the ones that work for themselves. Send a message voters.

  • Thereisnonews says:

    How can you include the word “rudely” in your story? Doesn’t that show some sort of opinion, bias, or conjuncture? Did your reporters even go to journalism school?

  • Guest461 says:

    …detect rudeness and lack of courtesy in someones actions and speech! It doesn’t require education, only common sense. Carolyn Johnson is an elected official and was requested to answer a simple question and she has a duty to fullfill that. “Tired..” or not, THAT is her job!

    Besides, your last two posts criticize WWAY’s reporting method and you tell them to “…go back to school!” and question if their reporters even went to journalism school. What sort of credentials other than being a mouthy, faceless and anonymous poster could you possibly hold that would allow you to make such crass statements? Sorry, but THAT sounds very RUDE to me!

  • Thereisnonews says:

    “”Too tired” to explain to voters what the city is doing with their money. “Too tired” to tell taxpayers why it’s okay to switch to a project no one voted for.

    Hopefully Ms. Johnson got some rest last night and will be able to address those questions today.”

    Unbelievable. I didn’t realize that this story was an editorial. Normally when your station wants to insert itself into the story, you usually preface or disguise it as an editorial.

    Go back to school.

  • Guest33 says:

    IS she not human too? CAn she not be tired? Did WWAY make an appt?
    Here we go again, WWAY got their feelings hurt so now they’ll attack her.

  • Guest99x says:

    Careful there, guesty… if you accuse a politician of feathering his own nest on the taxpayer’s dime, Mayor Slapnuts may want to fight you in the parking lot.

  • Guest says:

    Jason Thompson of the County Commissioners is the one who wanted to go to the parking lot to fight…. Not Saffo. Pay attention.

  • guesty says:

    And what a fun time that would be. Saffo wouldn’t risk messing up his hair or suit and Thompson wouldn’t be able to find his way out of the building.

  • Truthseeker says:

    This supposedly lawyer is on the taxpayer payroll. If she is too tired to do her job then we as the citizens are too tired to continue her employment. Fact, you work for the citizens of the City of Wilmington. Fact, you cannot do your job then out you go. Or you can wait and go out with Saffo because he is dead for politics also.

  • Guest says:

    Isn’t she the one who was related to a councilman by marriage? I guess that has its privileges.

  • Guest says:

    It seems that we have all sorts of comments and lectures for the City Attorney but fewer for the mayor. He is the one who supposedly stated that the money for the trail was included in the bond. We should be holding him closer to the fire on this issue. He should be holding a press conference with the bond in hand and a highligher with the exact wording highlighted so that we can put this issue to rest.
    When we vote on officials and issues, we expect that those things will be carried out not that they will get into office and serve their own interests.

  • TMZWWAY says:

    These things are good to know however….
    WWAY.. why are you so intent on being tabloid press? Just because I am writing a comment doesn’t mean your stories are popular.. It means, when I want to rad news, I want to read news.. I am getting sick of every time I click on your website at least one story points to domeon you choose to defame for the day…
    That’s not just tacky.. That’s Springer… Go after real news… I’m tired of looking at the bust of the day every time I go to your site.. Its pathetic, bad reporting, and dismisses the real news that is happening around up by stirring emotion… Do I agree with counsel? No.. Do I agree with the bond being redistribted? No…
    But I she was wrong by saying she was tired.. Why do you have to be wrong for attacking someone? We can read the real news and figure that out for ourselves… Tabloids are for gossip.. News is for facts.. Your reporting blurrs the two together at times,, Your competitor does not… Just sayin’….

  • Guest says:

    The City Attorney’s job description does not include talking to the press. You should have asked the Public Information Officer for a comment. Lame story.

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