DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Durham City Council member accused of asking a developer for campaign funds in return for a favorable vote will not be facing state charges.
Councilwoman Monique Holsey-Hyman spoke publicly about the investigation on Wednesday for the first time in several months.
“A property developer had reported to a city staff that a sitting city council member had suggested to the developer that support will be given for the developer’s project in exchange for a donation to the council member’s election campaign,” Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal said at the March 23 City Council work session.
After being accused of extortion in late March, council member Holsey-Hyman will not receive criminal charges.
“These allegations against me lacked any foundation, only diverted attention from my true objective which is to serve the city with honesty,” she said Wednesday.
The State Bureau of Investigation looked into the accusations back in March. The final report was delivered to the D.A. last week, showing an investigator found no credible allegations.
“I was bullied on this council to vote a certain away,” Holsey-Hyman said. “I stood. And because I stood, because I didn’t waiver, I went through this for the last seven months.”
A letter sent out this week by District Attorney Satana Deberry states “[Special Agent] Deming reviewed text messages between Holsey-Hyman and [Jarrod] Edens and found nothing improper.”
Edens is the developer who made the allegations.
“It was basically he said, she said, and also maybe some phone records,” O’Neal said Wednesday. “That’s not an extensive investigation in my opinion.”
O’Neal believed the case could have been handled by an attorney instead of the SBI.
The letter from D.A. Deberry goes on to say “Jarrod Edens, on the other hand, avoided every attempt SA Deming made to interview him.”
CBS 17 reached out to Edens but has yet to hear back.
“I don’t think you understand what it is to get to a point to want to help people and for somebody to try to take it away in a matter of a blink,” Holsey-Hyman said.
In addition to no state charges, Holsey-Hyman says the FBI also closed its own investigation months ago.