Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Going On Here?

Last night at the end of the Watauga County Commission meeting, Commissioner Billy Kennedy turned to county attorney Stacy C. Eggers IV ("Four") and said that a constituent had inquired whether the Town of Beech Mountain was now working in Raleigh to go around, or somehow overrule, the vote of the County Commission denying a new water intake on the Watauga River. Mr. Eggers is attorney for both the Town of Beech Mountain and the County of Watauga, and he was intimately involved in drafting the original resolution that would have granted the Town of Beech Mountain access to the Watauga River.

The reaction on the dais to Mr. Kennedy's question was akin to introducing red hot pokers to several backsides.

For his part, Mr. Eggers retreated behind the client-attorney wall of silence, and Mr. Kennedy pressed his point that this dual role of Mr. Eggers presents a problem in his eyes. Mr. Eggers commented that if the possibility of a conflict of interest arose, he would certainly inform his bosses on the County Commission and recuse himself.

Does that answer fly? Given Mr. Eggers' blatant conflict of interest in running the Watauga County Board of Elections from behind the scenes, through the instrumentality of his younger brother Luke, while also serving as legal counsel to the BOE, suggests that Mr. Eggers would not necessarily recognize a conflict of interest if he were standing knee-deep in one.

Commission Chair Nathan Miller scolded Kennedy for even asking his question, and Commissioner Perry Yates piled on, along with David Blust, all of them shocked -- shocked! -- that Kennedy would even suggest, imply, insinuate, or allude to a conflict of interest on Mr. Eggers' part.

The Republicans on the Commission looked mighty defensive.


Richard Tidyman said...

Is there a video of this fiasco anywhere?

J.W. Williamson said...

There is no video, and some of the press had left the meeting by the time this exchange took place. The Watauga Democrat reporter was still there.

Unknown said...

What IS this? The Wild, Wild West?

Unknown said...

Sounds like Four is well set to run the entire county. Funny, I don't remember ever for him for Czar or any other position.

Anonymous said...

This is so clearly a conflict of interest. Why does the lawyer involved in this conflict get to decide whether or not there is conflict?

Is there no oversight over the lawyer? Four Eggers double-dipping into two municipalities and yes, this is clearly a conflict of interest, despite what Four says.

Anonymous said...

Refer the question and concern to the NC Institute of Government at UNC-CH, such a clarification falls within the province of their mission.

Anonymous said...

Methinks thee protests too much.