Oct 272011

From WCNC News Charlotte:

Peeping Tom starts town council debate

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — Politics in Indian Trail make for some interesting stories, but none more so than the latest one, which starts in a very bizarre way.

A meeting was underway on October 3, in a home in the Brandon Oaks subdivision. Outside, an alleged peeper was lurking in the trees. The unknown man was spotted by a woman in the house who spooked him away.

Here’s where things get interesting.

The group in the home didn’t call 911. Instead, they gave chase, trying to catch the peeper to identify him. Eventually a warrant for the man’s arrest was issued by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and he was arrested. But the warrant for his arrest is what has caused the debate.

It listed all the people in the house the man was peeping on that night. Among the seven people inside were Darlene Luther, Robert Allen, and Roger Stanton — all town council members. Also there, was Ash Minor who is currently running for a council seat, as is Stanton.

Does this represent a violation of the law in regards to government in the sunshine? All three members of the council there that night said “no” because they were not conducting “town business.”

The Government in the Sunshine Act is a U.S. law passed in 1976 which affects the operations of government, Congress, Federal Commissions, and other legally constituted federal bodies. It is intended to create greater transparency in government. Click the link below or view video.

I’ve known about this story for about two weeks, When I first read about it {CLICK HERE} I noted the line that said quote “other Council members” and knowing some of the personalities involved plus it being election season, I knew there had to be more to the story. I just didn’t have time to follow it up. Though I am glad the WCNC did so, but I’m sure that took some bit of prodding as the original reporter probably didn’t understand the significance of three Council members meeting at home and the illegal quorum that it represents.

While I disagree with Robert Allen when he calls this a “non-story”, it is in my mind entirely plausible that they were just planning campaign strategy as claimed.

The most amusing thing about this story, aside from the illegal meeting perspective, is how this story was revealed. In the book of bizarre politics, this has to rank very high.

Kudos to Roger Stanton for facing the music… and the television reporter.