Belville files motion for contempt against H2GO and three commissioners

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H2Go building in Leland (Photo: Kirsten Gutierrez/WWAY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Another twist in the battle between Belville, Leland, and H2Go.

The Town of Belville has filed a motion to hold H2GO and commissioners Jeff Gerken, Trudy Trombley, and Bill Beer in contempt of a temporary restraining order filed by the Town of Leland.

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According to a news release from WaterPIO,  Paragraph 28 of Leland’s Verified Complaint states the “organizational meeting” for H2GO’s new board was scheduled for December 19. But on Sunday, Commissioners Gerken and Trombley, who are incumbent members of the H2GO Board of Commissioners, purported to call an emergency meeting of the Board of Commissioners to occur at 8:00 a.m. on Monday at H2GO’s former offices at 516 Village Road, Leland, North Carolina (conveyed to Belville by the deed recorded November 29). WaterPIO says no public emergency existed which would support calling of a Board meeting without 48-hour notice.

Documents also claim the oath of office newly-elected commissioner Bill Beer took just after midnight on Monday was not filed with the Clerk of Superior Court… which raises the question whether a quorum was present and lawfully voted.

WaterPIO says Gerken, Trombley, and Beer, all whom oppose the reverse osmosis plant, then held the emergency meeting and passed a number of resolutions that attempted to unwind the H2GO – Belville transactions.  WaterPIO says that meeting was held in violation of the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.



Neither McCoy nor Commissioner Ron Jenkins, who also supports the reverse osmosis plant, attended the meeting.

In an affidavit filed with the Motion for Contempt, Belville Mayor Mike Allen said no public emergency existed which would support calling the Board meeting without 48-hour notice.

Allen says on the actions of the partial H2GO board meeting in voting on and passing a resolution and threatening the termination of key employees, in addition to violating North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law and other laws, violate the terms of the Temporary Restraining Order, which prohibits the Defendants (including H2GO) from implementing any course of conduct regarding the transfer of assets from H2GO to Belville.  In addition, H2GO’s attempt to unilaterally rescind the contracts between Belville and H2GO, if effective, would constitute a material and unlawful breach of contracts and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.

Late this afternoon, H2GO announced they were holding a special meeting on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.