August 6, 2020
For Immediate Release
Charlotte, NC- Over the last 3 weeks, several members of the Charlotte City Council and community have launched personal attacks of ethics violations on Republican City Councilman Tariq Bokhari, who has been a lone outspoken voice defending the police and fighting to keep the RNC’s economic impact for Charlotte’s small businesses and hospitality workers. These attacks have been political in nature, as can be learned here by the investigative reporting done by WBT’s Mark Garrison on 7/28, and have put the livelihood of 90 people in need of workforce support and 10k+ small business in need of recovery at risk.
While it has been deemed above board and compliant with all policies by the City Attorney, City Manager, and every other relevant City Official, these few members of the Council and community continue their politically motivated attacks.
The NCGOP has decided to shine a light on the real ethics violations that have been occurring in Charlotte for years by taking the following 3 actions earlier today:
Action 1: Formal submission of ethics violation to the City Clerk on James Mitchell. Violation of Section 3a: Using their official position for personal gain
Click Here to view the Ethics Complaint.
As reported by WBTV, Councilman Mitchell went to Detroit in November 2018 on a taxpayer-funded trip that cost $1,421.26. Emails obtained by WBTV show Mitchell in direct communication with Panthers organization executives discussing the need for a trip to see new professional sports facilities first hand and together, which Mitchell then forwarded an hour later to his former employer (Barton Malow), a company in the business of building professional sports arenas. Mitchell’s current employer (JE Dunn) has several references to strong business partnerships with Barton Mallow, including joint ventures in jobsite accident technology and data sharing agreements. This trip, its direct financial connection to businesses that would financially gain from this sports facility construction project that employs Councilman Mitchell, and the timing directly prior to Council voting on and approving a $100M+ public subsidy demonstrates a clear need for the City to engage an independent investigator, validate this claim is not frivolous, and take the appropriate legal action to restore confidence in what is seemingly a corrupt system. Further details capture in this 11/13/19 segment by WBTV.
Action 2: Formal submission of ethics violation to the City Clerk on Dimple Ajmera. Violation of Section 3a: Using their official position for personal gain
Click here to view the ethics complaint and here for the supplemental information.
Over the last 4 years, Dimple Ajmera has used her official position, particularly in rezoning cases, to directly engage with those from the real estate community who have a business in front of the council to solicit campaign contributions. The timing of contributions made to her, many off campaign fundraising typical cycles, directly correlates to her votes on rezoning petitions and demonstrates a clear need for the City to engage an independent investigator, validate this claim is not frivolous, and take the appropriate legal action to restore confidence in what is seemingly a corrupt system.
Supporting Evidence - Notable Donations, Timings:
- Kevin Higgins gave $4500 in 2017 and $1500 in 2019. According to Petition 2017-044 has/had an interest in 2017-167 (Ervin Building). Petition 2017-167 was filed the week of his 2017 donation (10/13).
- ERSKINE BOWLES gave $500 on 09/27/2019, less than two weeks after a rezoning he supported (2018-142) was approved: https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2018Petitions/Pages/2018-142.aspx
- Peter Lash, the Managing Partner of Beacon Partners, gave $1,000 on 6/24 between the 6/19 public hearing date and the July 17 decision date for 2017-039 by Beacon Partners. https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2017Petitions/Pages/2017-039.aspx
- Ajmera received a triple max ($16,200) from the Fallon Family (JOSEPH FALLON, $5400, 02/09/2020), (MICHAEL FALLON, $5400, 02/08/2020), (SUSAN FALLON, $5400, 02/12/2020). The Fallon Company partners with Horizon Development (Inlivian); they also own property Uptown. https://www.falloncompany.com/project-portfolio/charlotte/
- BOBBY DRAKEFORD gave $354.09 on 05/22/2019, two days after 2017-186 was approved. https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2017Petitions/Pages/2017-186.aspx
- Christian Ogunrinde gave $100 on 6/28, after the 6/19 public hearing on 2017-067 but prior to its 9/18 approval. https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2017Petitions/Pages/2017-067.aspx
- Tim Melton gave $500 on 9/22 after his rezoning in Ajmera's district was approved on 6/19
- JONATHAN VISCONTI of GVEST CAPITAL gave $500 on 12/30/2019 between the 12/16 public hearing date for 2019-124 and the 1/21 Approval. https://charlottenc.gov/planning/Rezoning/RezoningPetitions/2019Petitions/Pages/2019-124.aspx
- BART HOPPER gave $500 and CLAY MCCULLOUGH of Hopper Communities gave $100 on 09/26/2019, 10 days after the approval of 2019-053, and before the approval of 2019-076 in October and 2018-117 in November. All three petitions led by Hopper.
Action 3: A public records request including all emails, text messages, calendar entries, or documents that contain the following keyword combinations between 3/1/2020 and 8/4/2020:
Click here to see the Public Records Request
- James Mitchell, Dimple Ajmera, Dan McCorkle OR Dan Roselli
- In combination with any of the following
- Tariq, Bokhari, attack, conflict of interest, CMPD defense, Workforce Recovery OR Small Business Assistance
- Additionally during the timeframe Jan 1, 2018 - Current:
- Any and all public records that include any of the following keywords: RevTechLabs, QC Fintech, Queen City Fintech
- Any communications between Dan Roselli AND EITHER Dimple Ajmera OR James Mitchell
The NCGOP looks forward to the timely results of this public records request by the City of Charlotte, and the timely engagement of an independent investigator by the City Attorney to get to the bottom of these highly concerning actions by Councilmembers Ajmera and Mitchell.
"It is truly sad to see elected officials abuse their positions of power for private gain," NCGOP Press Secretary Tim Wigginton. "By taking these actions today, the North Carolina Republican Party seeks to hold these public officials accountable for their actions."