CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach Town Council has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, and the former mayor is not ready to give up the attention yet. Last night Ray Rothrock e-mailed our newsroom with allegations of unpaid property taxes by Councilman Bob Lewis.
The e-mail says Lewis has had a boat for more than five years and has never registered it with the county.
“They can check anything they want,” Lewis said. “I’m an open book.”
Lewis says Rothrock is looking for trouble. Rothrock sent an e-mail Sunday about Lewis’s unpaid property tax saying it proves lewis is not fit to lead.
“It’s a mistake on my side. I missed it. I didn’t realize boats were included,” Lewis said. “It has nothing to do with being in political office. I’ve always paid all of my state and county taxes on time. I’m sure he’s checked all of that out, though. He’s just trying to find one little thing and that’s fine.”
Lewis says he plans to straighten things out this week with the county.
Councilwoman Sarah Friede says she’s worried what Rothrock is doing may change the way the community remembers his leadership.
“He’s done a lot of things over the years as mayor. I think it would really be a shame if this became his legacy,” Friede said.
Friede hopes this will not distract the council from the task at hand: selecting new members to replace Rothrock, Councilman Lonnie Lashley and Town Manager Tim Owens, who all quit last month.
“I think I see a silver lining to all the drama,” Friede said. “We’re going to pick a couple council members and then hopefully as a town be able to heal and move on.”
Friede says council has a number of candidates up for discussion at tomorrow night’s meeting.
Rothrock would not talk to us on camera about his allegations against Councilman Lewis.