DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A property developer told city staff that a sitting Durham City Council member had suggested a quid pro quo to the developer.

This allegation came to light on Thursday during a city council work session.

Mayor Elaine O’Neal read a statement from the city attorney, Kimberly Rehberg, saying that a councilperson offered their vote of support to a developer in return for election campaign donations.

While O’Neal did not directly name councilwoman Monique Holsey-Hyman, other councilmembers confirmed she is the person accused of the quid pro quo.

“The allegations are incredibly disturbing must be taken very seriously and if true may constitute criminal activity,” O’Neal said.

City Council is also looking to censure Holsey-Hyman for multiple other incidents where she used the help of a city staffer to conduct election campaign work on city time.

“One time it’s one off, another time it seems to suggest a pattern,” council member Mark-Anthony Middleton said.

A Resolution of Censure states that Holsey-Hyman “asked a city staffer to do campaign-related research for her while on duty” in September.

The resolution goes on to state in January, she then allegedly “asked a city staffer to do work related to her political campaign.”

Holsey-Hyman said she received approval from the city’s HR department during the January incident.

“Over the past 10 months, I have been a servant leader I have been a colleague to my staff and to my city Council,” Holsey-Hyman said. “All I wanted to do on this council was to serve, to serve and help the community.”

Durham city council will consider the resolution of censure against Holsey-Hyman at the next meeting.

“This reflects on our entire counsel, on our city, and on our commitment to our community, on the way that we use our power and authority,” council member Jillian Johnson said. “None of us want to be here. Nobody wants to do this.”

Durham City Attorney Kimberly Rehberg had initially told city council about it on March 13, O’Neal said during the work session.

Rehberg said that city staff had told her the council member suggested they would support the developer’s project in exchange for a donation from the developer to the councilmember’s election campaign, O’Neal said.

On Monday, Mayor Elaine O’Neal and Rehberg met with members of the council to discuss the reported allegations, according to O’Neal.

“The consensus among a majority of the council was that the allegations are incredibly disturbing and must be taken very seriously and, if true, may constitute criminal activity and could lead to criminal consequences,” O’Neal said.

Mayor O’Neil said Durham city staff are currently preparing a referral of the allegation involving a developer to state law enforcement.