A Charlotte lawyer on Tuesday accused the Charlotte City Council of violating North Carolina’s open meetings law when it agreed in closed session in January to support a tax hike for renovating Bank of America Stadium.
Paul Whitfield, in a motion filed in Superior Court, asked that the city be cited for contempt of court and fined at least $1.4 million. That’s 1 percent of the $144 million that City Council discussed giving to the Carolina Panthers for upgrading their stadium.
That’s right: Not only did the Charlotte city council utterly fail to convince the state to let it raise restaurant taxes to pay for upgrades to the Panthers‘ privately owned stadium (a bill to allow Charlotte to use existing taxes for that purpose continues to wend its way through the legislature, but Charlotte needs that money for other stuff), but apparently they also forgot that they’re under a permanent court injunction against violating the state open meetings law.
The council voted behind closed doors, councilmember Beth Pickering told the Charlotte Observer, because doing so openly might have led to “misimpressions.” This is going to be the awesomest court case ever.