Friday, December 9, 2011

Cogdell: Let's have full investigation into my hiring

Mecklenburg commissioners Chairman Harold Cogdell said this morning that he will ask the board of C.W. Williams Community Health Center to make public how much the nonprofit is paying him.

"I'm going to seek their permission to release the employment contract," Cogdell told me this morning. "It describes the scope of services, and what I get paid, and what I get paid to do and when that relationship was formed."

Cogdell, a Democrat, has come under scrutiny for being hired by C.W. Williams about two months after he fought for a 39 percent hike in the county's allocation to the group.

Cogdell said he wants all the information about the arrangement to come out. He said he will ask commissioners at their Dec. 20 meeting to authorize a full investigation into his hiring.

"I absolutely want to bring that out. I think the public is entitled to that. We need to make sure there are answers to the questions that have been raised."

We called for such transparency in an editorial in this morning's paper, an opinion Cogdell said he doesn't disagree with.

Cogdell said he first started talking with C.W. Williams about a job in mid to late July, about a month after the budget talks. The group provides medical care to the poor.

He said he and other commissioners were lobbied by C.W. Williams for more than $1.7 million in county money, compared with the $280,000 that County Manager Harry Jones recommended. Cogdell said he supported giving C.W. Williams $110,000 more than Jones' recommendation in part because of difficult talks the county had been having with Carolinas Healthcare System about indigent care.

"I could see the potential moving forward that these centers are going to play a bigger role in providing indigent health care," Cogdell said.

We repeat our call for a thorough look into this matter, and applaud Cogdell for being open to that.

-- Taylor Batten


Garth Vader said...

Let's remember that Jennifer Roberts didn't exactly get elected in a totally above-board manner.

As PunditHouse recalls,

"In the 2004 election, Roberts edged out then-incumbent Republican Commissioner Ruth Samuelson for the third at-large seat on the board of commissioners. Less than 1,000 votes separated Roberts and Samuelson. But there was a hitch.

After some major legal wrangling, the N.C. Supreme Court at that time had ruled that out-of-precinct votes, so-called provisional ballots, should not count in the just completed election. The nearly 1,800 provisional ballots cast in Mecklenburg County, which historically favor Democrat candidates, were more than enough to potentially change the outcome of the tight race between Roberts and Samuelson.

It didn’t. In typical party fashion, Democrats that were in political control at the time refused to toss the provisional ballots, even though a newly passed law, upheld by the state Supreme Court, required voters to cast ballots in their home precincts. The move was bolstered by the state’s Democrat-controlled General Assembly, which argued the court had misinterpreted lawmakers’ intent on how provisional ballots should be handled."

RobNClt said...

If Cogdell is really interested in doing what's best for Mecklenburg County (he's probably not interested in that) he should quit, leave, the job. That would end all speculation or at the very least lessen it.

ThaQueenCity said...

How about that, you DEMS get mad when ONE OF YOU trips the other, something you folks do ALL the time to anoterh party. But it is OK when you do it to the other party right and get MAD when we ask for an investigation!
...hypocrite much Charlotte Observer? Here let me help you with that answer.....


Veronica said...

The O-pinion was out for blood and Cogdell (at least temporarily) spoiled the feast.

Smart move making a deal with board Republicans. Even smarter move calling for a full and open investigation into this "story".

- Taylor Batten

TotalPackage said...

Hell hath no a Dumbocrat scorned.

Avenging Angel said...

So many of these comments dodge the issue. Why would a clinic for the poor need an attorney other that on as-needed basis in the rare event that they would be sued? This does not add up....

DistrictSix said...

@Avenging Angel

Ask anyone with assets, what are their needs in having a Lawyer on retainer?