BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The president of North Carolina's NAACP was in Brunswick County Thursday to call the county out on its ethics.
Dr. William Barber and the Brunswick NAACP held a press conference Thursday morning at the Government Complex in Bolivia, where he stood up for the county's only black commissioner.
Barber's concerns stem from two recently-passed rules that require commissioners to step down from leadership roles that could pose a conflict of interest, but Commissioner Charles Warren refused to resign from the DSS Board.
The NAACP is concerned that Brunswick County's code of conduct has "racial undertones." Barber said the organization is "strongly going to evaluate and look at whether or not the implementation of this code of ethics has at its core a racist dimension."
The county says Warren is violating a code of conduct he voted for, but Barber said the new rules are attempts to rob Warren of his power.
Since Warren refused to give up his seat on the DSS Board, commissioners voted to 4-1 to move forward with plans to censure him, starting with an investigation. A censure is a formal reprimand, but it does not prevent Warren from continuing to vote on the board.
The NAACP also believes the county is misusing Title Six, which is a federal law that says federal stimulus money must be accessible to minorities. They think the county has no plan to make sure the money goes to everyone.
According to County Attorney Huey Marshall, contract bidders must prove, under oath, they did indeed solicit a minority business. He says it's still too early to see specific numbers, because all of the county's federal stimulus projects are still under construction.
The county says it has nothing to hide and it's doing its part to put minorities to work.
The NAACP is launching a full investigation into both of these issues, saying they won't stop until more proof is shown.
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