The town of Oak Island is being sued by a developer who claims the town has repeatedly refused to release public documents about his project. Since the news broke of that lawsuit, there have been a number of calls from prominent people on the island saying this is hardly an isolated incident. Loman Scott is a retired police detective from Greensboro. He's spent the last 3 years as a volunteer planning board member for the town of Oak Island. He said when he started raising concerns about what he calls illegal activities on the part of the town's government, he was ousted from his job on the planning board. "Basically, all I did was go up there and ask a few questions about another incident that involved the illegal withholding of public documents" said Scott. Town leaders said Mr. Scott was kicked off the board for unprofessional conduct. The details are vague, but they showed me a brief memo explaining that his line of questioning about those public documents prompted a town employee to break down in tears. Scott said they simply used that as an excuse to get rid of him so they could keep the town's business under wraps. The mayor said that is not true. “I've never shut anybody down that was speaking out" The Mayor said that planning board members serve at the pleasure of the council, and it is their prerogative if council members wanted Loman Scott off the board. Mr. Scott is not the only one who said there is more to the story. Former Oak Island Mayor Helen Cashwell is furious that the town shredded 7,000 pounds of public documents recently, and has no record of what was destroyed. "It's not an accident, it wasn't an accident, and my big problem is it isn't being followed up anywhere" said Cashwell. Ms. Cashwell said aside from illegal activities, the town is on the verge of going broke, and town leaders are trying to conceal the town's finances by hiding public records. Cashwell said, "I think that lack of business background is what's showing on this. I really don't know what's driving them" Current Mayor Johnie Vereen said she's wrong, and completely out of line. As for the public records that were destroyed, Mayor Vereen said it was an honest mistake. He said the documents in question were at least 10 years old and have nothing to do with the towns current finances. In a story that aired yesterday, Mayor Vereen said he's as concerned as anyone about the financial wellbeing of Oak Island because he is a tax payer and has to pay his fair share. Mayor Vereen, however, hasn't paid his taxes for his property on the island. He still owes more than 1,000 dollars in back taxes for 2007.
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