Commissioner says embattled Chairwoman ‘should be nowhere near elected office’

Commissioner says embattled Chairwoman ‘should be nowhere near elected office’
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - While embattled New Hanover County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman has come under scrutiny from several state agencies over allegations of financial mismanagement, her fellow commissioners have largely remained silent when pressed for comment.

However, in an email to a voter sent late Friday evening, Commissioner Rob Zapple wrote what’s likely the most pointed public comment about the situation yet:

“In my opinion Julia should be nowhere near elected office. Her illegal actions, lack of ethics, and mishandling of financial accounts should be enough to disqualify her from running for re-election but she is still on the ballot,” Zapple who, along with Boseman, is up for re-election, wrote in response to the voter’s question of who best aligns with his interests.

When reached for comment on Tuesday, Zapple said the email was in response to the numerous media reports regarding the allegations against Boseman.

In March, the North Carolina State Bar was granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Boseman after she allegedly “mismanaged entrusted funds” and made “material misrepresentations” to the Bar regarding her handling of the funds.

The State Bureau of Investigation is also probing any potential criminal element to her handling of $20,000 paid to her by another client for services not completed before she closed her law practice.

Most recently, the State Board of Elections issued thousands of dollars in fines against Boseman for failing to file campaign finance reports for several years. Boseman paid the fines following WECT and WHQR’s report earlier this month.

Asked if she had anything to say about Zapple’s email, Boseman responded, “Only that Rob [Zapple] just lost my vote.”

WECT also reached out to the New Hanover County Democratic Party to see what her own party thinks of the allegations, and Chairman Andre Brown responded with the following statement.

“We have been made aware of the allegations that have been levelled against Chair Boseman. We are all held accountable for the actions we take and for the decisions that we make and Chair Boseman is no exception. However, it would be premature to comment more fully without a final determination made by the authorities.

In 2018, our annual Unity Banquet was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. The NHCDP leadership at that time made the decision to disperse the funds from ticket sales to all Democratic candidates equally. Hence, Chair Boseman, who was also a candidate at that time, was one of the recipients. The party has not financially contributed to Ms. Boseman’s 2022 campaign or to any other Democratic candidate in this Primary.

Commissioner Rob Zapple and Travis Robinson are Democratic primary candidates for New Hanover County Commissioners as well and it is important that they be acknowledged and supported aside from commenting on Chair Boseman. New Hanover County voters will have the final say in who governs them. The NHCDP looks forward to the Primary Election and its results. We plan to continue to organize and advocate for the issues that our community cares about most and we fully intend to carry that momentum into the Fall and into Election Day in November.”

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