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ONLY ON 3: Leland Mayor Futch asks feds to investigate Barfield, Thompson, Sue & Saffo

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Leland Mayor Futch asks feds to investigate Barfield, Thompson, Sue & Saffo

LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- While he has no interest finding out if allegations of misconduct and corruption within his police department are true, Leland Mayor Walter Futch has found time to ask the US Department of Transportation to investigate allegations of conspiracy against area political leaders.

Futch sent the letter, dated July 29, to the Inspector General at the US Department of Transportation. It's lengthy and filled with complaints and accusations of corruption against New Hanover County Commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Jason Thompson, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and Brunswick County Commissioner Bill Sue. All sit or used to belong to the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, the group discussing whether to build the Cape Fear Skyway Bridge.


"Mayor Futch must believe that because he writes a sentence and puts it on paper that therefore it's true," Thompson said. "Unfortunately, I don't see anything in here that resembles the truth, and I don't think the inspector general will either."

Futch says there are conflicts of interest because some members of the WMPO own property that would be impacted by the road projects. He contends that Sue stands to gain $2 million when his property is condemned for another construction project. When we called him, Sue just laughed and said, "No comment."

Futch also claims Thompson's business is adjacent to the proposed path of the Skyway Bridge.

"He's been making that accusation for a year, year and a half," Thompson said. "The reality is there's 40 acres of land between where I am and Independence Blvd. where the Skyway Bridge is supposed to go, so I'm not adjacent to it. I'm separated by 40 or 50 acres."

Futch also contends Saffo owns property located in the selected corridor. Saffo is quick to point out the project has been discussed since 1993, and as of now, a site has not even been selected.

"It's so below the belt I can't even believe it's been shared with us," Saffo said. "I have recused myself from any kind of vote on this side of the river. I will always be a supporter of the Skyway Project, because we desperately need another crossing of the Cape Fear River."

Some other accusations include Futch being denied his First Amendment right of free speech during the meetings and members conspiring to select a preservation corridor through Leland for the proposed Skyway without consulting him. That last accusation has Mayor Saffo fired up. He says Futch is the one who held a private meeting with the developers of Brunswick Forest to discuss moving the Skyway Project Corridor, and later, at a public meeting with Futch in attendance, Saffo says he revealed his frustrations over whether to protect an easement on Wilmington's side of the river.

"I wanted to find out, first of all, if the property owners on the other side of the river were going to be willing to support any kind of realignment through their properties, because what I could gather is Brunswick Forest was calling the shots over there in regards to the thoroughfare through their development," Saffo said.

It's also interesting to note that Mayor Futch took the time to fire off this letter to Washington, accusing others of wrongdoing, but has yet to come forward and address allegations of corruption within his own police department.

"I think he needs to pull his head out of the sand and quit writing letters to the Inspector General about everybody else who's doing a good job in this community and worry about his own police force and his own board," Thompson said. "Maybe that would be better-served time for him."

We've tried for weeks to get Futch to talk with us about the police department, yet he consistently refers us to the town manager. He also didn't call us back for this story.

We did speak with Barfied, who told us he wouldn't dignify the accusations with a comment. As for why Mayor Futch would send this to the federal government and not the North Carolina DOT, Barfield says no one is taking Futch seriously on the state level, which is why he sent the letter to the feds.

We obtained an e-mail from Leland Town Councilwoman Pat Batleman that confirms the DOT Inspector General received Futch's complaint and will direct an inquiry. Futch resigned from the WMPO Board last month. Batleman took his place.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


GO FUTCH! I feel the same

GO FUTCH! I feel the same way.....something fishy here..stinks to high Heaven...Sue can laugh all he wants to..those that live here and silently watch have seen.....

What is it they say about

What is it they say about cleaning out your own backyard?

Highway Blues

Its about time someone looked into this. I felt it was true all along. For someone to go along with destroying the homes of widows,elderly folks, and people who have lived in the path of this 4 land highway for their own financial gain is wrong. And for them to tell people they knew nothing about the true path of the road was underhanded. It does not seem to me a "religious" person should treat people this way !

City Records are being destroyed to cover up things

Well I tried to listen to March 23, 2010 Transportation Advisory committee (TAC) at the argument that happend between Saffo and Futch but to my surprise it has been erased.This shows how are current Mayor loves to conduct business breaking laws bending rules and profiting off of tax payers dollars.(To my knowledge he only recused himself from 1 vote but voted on the rest until he was called out on this conflict of interest)


I don't know where you were originally looking for the recording, but if you click on the below link, it will take you to the WWAY article and you can listen to it. Since WWAY probably got the recording from the City, I doubt they are trying to hide it.


Everytime Mr. Thompson wears the Citadel hat on camera it makes me sick to my stomach. He is such a disgrace to a very fine school. The school has turned out many fine men and woman, but Jason Thompson is NOT one of them.

Sue is just trying to pad

Sue is just trying to pad his pockets....good for you Futch! Maybe, they will get to the bottom of this!

Raise the bridges and load

Raise the bridges and load the cannons! Then the only way feltch can come to town is by way of 140, which soon enough will bypass East L.A. anyway... Nimby's should always clean up their own yard before calling the HOA about the neighbors.

Thats it!

Take the spot light off of me and my Police Department! That aught to do it!!!LOL! Say's who? Say's Kblue!

Ought to

Ought to...........not aught genius. Will you still be posting after they dump you too? It's just a matter of time.

Say's who? Say's kblue don't have a damn clue!

Never thought!!!

I never thought I would say this but Grand Old I'm proud of you for not making any problem solving comments on here lately, keep working on you math skills and you will get the hang of it!!! Maybe this is why the economy is so messed up now?? Republicans (GOP) I'll see you at the Mex Fest!!!!! We love love you you KBLUE!!!!!

Dag Grand Old! I thought you

Dag Grand Old! I thought you would be busy getting ready for the Latino Festival !

Movie Star Blue

Aught vs. ought

Mistaken use of ought in place of aught, meaning should (with to) is surprisingly common. In each of these examples, ought should be changed to aught: You are the man Grand Ole, Not a very bright man but still the man! Say's who? Say's always has a clue Mr Magoo Kblue! And to all my fans? Kblue loves you........

Say's who?

Say's who? Mr. Magoo!

At it again

CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs is at it again. As stated before, you are a weirdo!!

Needs An Audience

I've learned it's best to just ignore anything he writes. He thrives on the attention and it just makes him act worse. He craves an audience. Everybody knows he has an inferiority complex - and it's fully justified.

:) <-----------ME

"Thank you" Thank you all" And for the record? (nun ya)!<--------Whats that mean???? Try to keep up Timillicky, "Nun ya" are invited to my cook out unless you say KBlue is awesome and so very funny.!!!Say's who? Say's Kblue!

DOT Problems...

I understand the traffic issues all to well as I live in Leland, and work in ILM. I have to deal with the bottle neck traffic jams on a daily basis. I am with Mayor Futch that the Skyway bridge "to nowhere" is a complete waste of taxpayers money. What ever money allocated to that project should be directed to widen the causeway from the cape fear brige, and 421 to 74/76. We have one lane merging traffic off of 421 to 74/76.... really?? and they want to start a new project??? How about fix the current problems before moving on to another...

On a side note Mayor Futch doesn't have much room to talk when it comes to the DOT. It took a solid year or more to make 133 between the overpass to the Walgreens in leland (about 3/4 mile) wider... I don't know how many times I saw that crew pave the road tear it up... repave... tear it up... repave... it was a DOT nightmare. I could have paved it myself in little over a month by myself. Hell, a DOT crew tore up and repaved basically over night a 1/4 mile stretch of road at the stop light where the traffic coming off the Holmes bridge meets 421.

As the "representative" of Leland it would seem he would turn the screws on that crew to get the job done. I'm sure they went well over budget getting that project finished. Lesson learned... make sure your backyard is clean before you start calling the fed's about your neighbors...

Saffo, Sue, Barfield, Thompson

Futch is within his rights to call for an inquiry if corruption is suspected.

Catlin- dirty tricks and self interest

It isnt DOT issue but maybe some folks outside Wilmington(state or feds) should look into what Catlin has been doing too. It's up to others to look into and decide but what we have had from these folks may or maynot be open to questions. Futch may or maynot be right, but it will be good to have some outsiders look into what this cast of characters- Saffo, Barfield and Catlin have or have not engaged in.

Catlin the Corrupt?

Barfield and Saffo are known self-dealers and use their offices for personal profit. Barfield is vicious and a shameless liar. His conduct is a disgrace and always for his own benefit. Catlin though? He was a chief advocate and profiteer off the taxpayer subsidized Catlin Convention Ctr. Is that corruption or just a good ol'boy reaching into the tax booty for his handfuls of cash? Baseball it true catlin has a conflict of interest? Has he broken the law with secret meetings and influence peddling?

Back up your allegations if you're going to make them or call the SBI and FBI and demand an investigation!

"Misdirection" Just a

"Misdirection" Just a magician's trick.

the tac

The mayor is right on target on the other project known as village road phase two. Nobody who lives on this stretch of the project wants it. It is not needed based on the d.o.t.'s own traffic study. It will cost 25 million of the dollars the d.o.t. says they don't have.the route currently has been manipulated to insure politicians get rich on it. The t.a.c. is a flawed process and yields flawed results (go figure).The t.a.c. is too close to the situation to the situations to produce unbiased decisions.We need a system that makes decisions at the meetings based on facts and not before meetings based on political influence and good old boy cronyism. As for the other project that I fondly refer to as the "pie in the skyway" that will cost over a billion "thats with a B" of todays dollars and if and when it is ever built the cost will be much higher.Mean while we cannot get the road improvments we actually need...ex. the causeway between wilmington and leland which is a nightmare to travel.Hwy 133 which is little more than a cart path and is 20 years overdue with a heavy traffic load.Our rusty old outdated draw bridge that is either up or out of order half the time.Please will some organization that can make unbiased, intelligent decisions that benefit the people of this area instead of the politicians take charge and rid us of this yoke around our necks known as the t.a.c.?????