Archive for Buncombe County
From the press release at his website:
Williams Announces Bid to Restore Integrity to District Attorney Office
Attorney Todd M. Williams of Asheville announced that he has filed as a Democrat running for election to the Office of District Attorney for the 28th Judicial District. The Primary is May 6.
“The Office of District Attorney should be renowned for its fairness and integrity in pursuit of justice. In seeking justice, the office must safeguard the rights and reputations of the innocent,” Williams said. “To regain this reputation and trust, we need new leadership that will demonstrate the highest degree of integrity and professionalism. I offer to provide that leadership.”
Williams believes transparency will be essential to renewing public trust in the Office of the District Attorney.
Local and national media have documented the Office’s lack of transparency. Documents in the public interest were suppressed. Innocence Commission hearings resulted in overturning murder convictions that had kept young men in jail for years.
“These events have tarnished the public perception of the openness of the Office of District Attorney,” Williams said. “That perception harms our criminal justice system.”
Williams has nearly 15 years of experience as a defense attorney. He has served as Assistant Capital Defender, Assistant Senior Public Defender, and Assistant Public Defender for nine years in Buncombe County. Williams said he is ready to transition from defense to prosecution within the criminal justice system.
“Defense attorneys and prosecutors are united in seeking justice. The players are different, but, in a well-run system, we are all on the same team,” Williams said. “The most pressing need in our criminal justice system is the need for new leadership in the Office of District Attorney. We need to rebuild public trust, increase consistency, and increase professionalism. I am ready to step up and deliver that new leadership.”
Williams, 45, is a North Carolina native and long-time Buncombe County resident. He and his wife Catherine have a 14-month old daughter. Williams serves on the board of Green Opportunities. He is also an investor in a local business, Wedge Brewing Company.
“I am committed to making our community an even safer place to live and raise a family,” Williams said.
“It will be my honor to bring a fresh, measured approach to the Office of District Attorney, which will be efficient, responsive to law enforcement, and fair to defendants that are brought before the court for prosecution,” Williams said.
Williams earned his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Northeastern Law School. Williams has been practicing law in North Carolina since 2000. In addition to serving on the board of Green Opportunities, Williams volunteers on Democratic campaigns and is a past Commissioner of the Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County.
For more information about the District Attorney Race in Buncombe County NC visit www.WilliamsforDA.com
I’ve known Todd Williams for years, and I know him to be trustworthy, hardworking, intelligent, and fair. He’s also got guts. It takes a lot of guts to take on a long-time incumbent, so I hope you’ll take some time to get to know the candidates and make your decision based on your values.
Your Buncombe County Democratic Party needs you. We’re getting organized to make some change in 2014 elections, and every registered Democrat is invited to be a part of it. After the jump please find the time and location of your precinct meeting. Not sure which precinct you’re in? Use this handy tool.
This just hit my inbox. With Attorney General Roy Cooper’s earlier announcement regarding his support for marriage equality, this is going to make for an interesting and historic opportunity.
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Willing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses; Requests Attorney General Review
Asheville, North Carolina. Monday, October 14, 2013
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger will be the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Reisinger will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Roy Cooper.
“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Reisinger said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.
The Campaign for Southern Equality notified Reisinger that at least six same-sex couples would request marriage licenses Tuesday. Reisinger will allow the couples to complete and sign their applications. He will accept the applications but withhold his own signature.
“I will then let the Attorney General know that I would like to issue these couples licenses, but that I need his clarification on the laws of the state that seem to contradict the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Reisinger said.
Tuesday will be the first time same-sex couples have requested marriage licenses from Reisinger since the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Transcript of exchange between Chris Pelly and Tim Moffitt – August 5, 2013. Taken from video shot at the event by another attendee. It’s my understanding that neither Councilman Pelly nor Representative Moffitt were aware they were being recorded.
Pelly: If we wanted to join the Culture and Recreation Authority, does the current legislation allow that to occur?
Moffitt: No, we took that away from you. When you filed your lawsuit, we… You did three things: First of all you filed your lawsuit, ok, so we’re not going to let you file the lawsuit on this side and sue the state and charge your taxpayers money but at the same time be the benefactor of this because it’s going to cost people outside the city some of their hard-earned money, so until the lawsuit is settled, we took the Authority away from the city.
Pelly: And does any other city in Buncombe County have the right to join the Authority?
Moffitt: Right now Buncombe County has asked for two years to not allow anybody to join. So they feel it’s going to take two years to kind of get the foundation set, for them to undertake that. So the limitations are going to be based on what the County is willing to do.
Pelly: And there’s a lot I could argue with you about about the issue of the water system, but this isn’t the place to do that…
Moffitt: Well, you know the history I’m talking about, Chris, you can find it. The history you’re talking about, I’m not sure.
Pelly: I have just one question for you.
Pelly: Later on today there’s going to be a rally in downtown Asheville, your hometown…
Pelly: …and the newspapers are estimating thousands of people are going to be there.
Pelly: Does that give you pause that….
Pelly: decisions you’re making in the legislature are concerning people?
Pelly: Does it concern you that 86% of Asheville residents voted against the water referendum, for the water referendum that retains the water system?
Moffitt: What really concerns me is that you would actually put a referendum on the ballot that was not about the issue that was actually being discussed. As far as the folks that are participating in Moral Monday, we predicted this would happen in 2011 when it started in Wisconsin and Michigan. We predicted it would be 18 months before it hit North Carolina because North Carolina is considered a purple state. So North Carolina is seen by the unions as a state that they can flip, and if you go back and look at the chatter regarding Moral Mondays, it’s really a union driven event and doesn’t really…
Pelly: Does it affect the future of education and voter identification or any of those issues?
Moffitt: It affects people’s opinions on those things, but a lot of those opinions are not based on fact.
The American Prospect has a thoughtful analysis of where the Moral Mondays movement came from and where it’s going. A sample:
Barber’s approach inverts the religious-right rhetoric that has dominated, and warped, Southern politics in recent decades. Some liberals might be put off by Moral Mondays’ “good versus evil” approach. But not, for the most part, Southern liberals. Atheists, Jews, and Christians alike have long been accustomed to singing “This Little Light of Mine” while railing against right-wing politics; it comes straight from the civil-rights tradition of weaving together religion and advocacy.
“This is a kind of Jewish-Baptist-Episcopalian-Methodist-Catholic church,” says Tim Tyson, historian, author, and professor at the Duke Divinity School. “It’s not about dogma. It’s about having a core commitment to human rights and human values.”
Mtn #MoralMondays rally w/Rev. Barber Aug 5-Asheville NC. Forward Together. Not One Step Back #MoMoMo details at on.fb.me/1407gkK
Arizona, Here We Come!
Courtesy of Rep. Nathan Ramsey’s office. Joe Arpaio will be proud. Pink undies next, Nathan?
From the email inbox:
On Monday July 15th, 6-7 at Pack Library, your Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is coming to District One to hear directly from constituents.
This meeting will be an opportunity for citizens to share ideas, concerns and questions with their county elected officials. Commissioners will be there to listen and respond.
We hope you will find some time in your summer schedule to be a part.
Vice Chair Holly Jones
Commissioner Brownie Newman
I took it very seriously when allegations were made regarding the conduct of our public safety leadership, and I want to thank the citizens of Asheville for your patience through this process. The events and allegations that came forward since March have demanded a patient, deliberate examination of the facts. City Council, rather than getting swept up in assumptions and preconceived judgments, took its time and learned all of the facts available to us. I want to thank everyone who conducted and cooperated with the investigations. City Council has been attentive and engaged, and we reviewed the facts thoroughly as part of our oversight duty.
I was relieved when District Attorney Ron Moore determined that no criminal laws were violated in the course of APD’s investigation of the accident. The D.A., through his work with the State Bureau of Investigation, did not find Chief Anderson, Captain Gonce, Lieutenant Wilke, or anyone else to have done anything criminal in the handling of this situation. The criminal side of the investigation was in the D.A.’s hands.
Once the criminal investigation concluded, and upon receipt of Lt. Wilke’s formal complaint, City Staff undertook an administrative investigation. By waiting until the SBI concluded their efforts, Staff made sure that they would in no way interfere with the criminal investigation. Special thanks to Deputy City Manager Jeff Richardson, Human Resources Manager Derrick Swing, Human Resources Director Kelley Dickens, and Interim City Attorney Martha McGlohon for their hard work in gathering all of the facts as expeditiously as possible. Allegations that City Staff members were unresponsive at any point in this series of events are not borne out by the facts.
The facts are that Asheville City Staff applied administrative policies and procedures in an even-handed, professional, and timely manner. Based on the findings, steps were taken to address individual actions and APD organizational issues. I’m confident that the investigations were undertaken appropriately, well within the defined policies and procedures for such complaints. The organizational efforts are targeted to resolve long-standing issues within the department, and the individual actions will improve the department’s overall dynamic.
While many of the findings of this administrative process are confidential as indicated by NC General Statutes, I’m committed to as much transparency as possible, and this is why I supported the resolution allowing the City Manager to release as many details as legally allowed. I wish I could say more, but NCGS 160A-168 lets me know that it would be a misdemeanor to do so. Frustrating as that is, I’m grateful to those of you who understand the limitations of the law and who understand that City Council has made its decisions based on a comprehensive set of facts.