August 11, 2011
Contact: Chris Brook (919) 323 – 3380 ext. 113
CEEJ to Wade: Step Aside Due from White Street Consideration Due to Your Conflict of Interest
GREENSBORO, NC –The Northeast Greensboro Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice is calling upon Greensboro City Councilwoman Trudy Wade to recuse herself from the consideration of proposals to re-open the White Street Landfill. Councilwoman Wade’s first cousin is the President of A-1 Sandrock, Inc., one of the respondents to Greensboro’s most recent Request for Proposals.
“The revelation that Councilwoman Wade’s cousin is the President of one of the companies interested in operating the White Street Landfill calls into question whether she can consider the interests of all Greensboro residents,” says Kay Brandon, a leader in the Citizens for Economic and Environmental Justice. “In light of this conflict of interest, she should not participate in the consideration of the current RFPs to ensure a process all Greensboro residents can trust.”
The Greensboro Conflict of Interest policy prohibits “its officers, employees, or agents from participating in the selection, award, or administration of any contract where a conflict of interest is involved or may exist, whether real or apparent.” The policy goes on to note, “it is essential for the City of Greensboro’s officers, employees, and agents to remain free from all conflicts of interest, whether real or apparent, in order for the City to maintain the public trust of its citizens.”
Councilpersons Nancy Vaughan and Zach Matheny were both conflicted out of even considering whether the city should issue a new RFP by the Greensboro City Attorney’s office. Yet, the Greensboro City Attorney’s office has cleared Councilwoman Wade’s continuing to vote on proposals put forward by her cousin. It is unclear how her voting on her first cousin’s proposals is compatible with maintaining the public trust of Greensboro citizens in this RFP process.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in August, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina by a multi-disciplinary group, predominantly people of color, who believe that families and communities engaged in social justice struggles need a team of lawyers, social scientists, community organizers and media specialists to support them in their efforts to dismantle structural racism and oppression.