Mayor says accusations unfounded
by Mike Parks
INDIAN TRAIL – The Union County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident from 2011 where a portion of a recording of an Indian Trail town council meeting was deleted.
Town manager Joe Fivas sent an email to town employees recently alerting them to the issue.
“We have been contacted by the (Union County) Sheriff’s Office that one of our employees will be investigated for destroying public documents,” Fivas wrote in the email. “Our legal counsel is aware of the issue, and we will provide more details at a later date.”
Fivas did not return calls for comment on the issue by press deadline.
Sgt. Brian Helms, with the sheriff’s office, confirmed an investigation was under way Thursday, April 26, but would not speak to the details of the investigation. Helms would not say whether the investigation was focused on current or past members of the town board.
Mayor Michael Alvarez, who was at the meeting in question, but was not mayor at the time, said he’s aware of what was deleted from the tape and says it’s not a serious matter. According to Alvarez, the timeframe deleted from the recording was nothing but dead air as the board waited for a person to arrive and start speaking. Then-councilman Jeff Goodall requested the portion be deleted.
The North Carolina General Assembly sets rules for the keeping of public documents, such as the recordings of town meetings. The statute states anyone who alters a public record, which this recording is, “shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor” and could face anywhere from a $10 to $500