DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry has announced that the State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate allegations made against a council member in a meeting last week.
During the March 23 meeting, Mayor Elaine O’Neal read a statement from City Attorney Kimberly Rehberg that said a councilperson offered their vote of support to a developer’s project in return for election campaign donations from that developer.
While O’Neal did not directly name Councilwoman Monique Holsey-Hyman, other council members confirmed she is the person accused of the quid pro quo.
“I have asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to open an inquiry into allegations made at last week’s meeting of the Durham City Council. As with any criminal investigation, the existence of an allegation or inquiry is not on its own confirmation of a violation of the law,” Deberry said.
Deberry said no further comments on the issue would be made while an SBI investigation is conducted.
While allegations against Holsey-Hyman were made public during the meeting, Rehberg said during that meeting she had initially told City Council about the allegations on March 13.
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.
“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.”