Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Follow us:
News 14 Carolina is on Facebook Follow us on Twitter! RSS 

News

High Point City Council members ask mayor to resign

  • Text size: + -
TWC News: High Point City Council members ask mayor to resign
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

HIGH POINT -- Some High Point City leaders said Mayor Bernita Sims' personal financial problems have become a distraction and now four city council members are publicly asking her to resign.

But that isn't stopping council members Jason Ewing, Rebecca Smothers, Jim Davis and Judy Mendenhall, from publishing letters asking for the resignation of High Point Mayor Bernita Sims.

They said her personal financial problems have become a distraction and are affecting the public's confidence in council's ability to govern.

"The mayor has made very clear that she doesn't intend to resign," council member Jason Ewing said. "When you're an elected official, when you're in the public light, everything is fair game."

So they said they plan to make a motion at a future meeting asking for Sims' resignation.

But it will ultimately be up to the mayor to decide.

Council member and former mayor, Smothers, said in a statement, "the only purpose a public vote will serve is to create a public record that she has been asked to step down; it does not guarantee that she will."

"State law, the only way an elected official can be ejected from office is by being convicted of a felony," Ewing said.

At this moment, Sims is being investigated for possible felony charges.

The Attorney General's Office is following up on a case to determine if their was a misuse of funds, back when Sims wrote a bad check and was investigated by the SBI.

But her financial woes don't end there, the Guilford County Judgments Office said there is an active lien filed against Sims for over $5,500 in overdue state income taxes.

"When your mayor has public financial issues like that, it really makes people have a cause for concern," Ewing said. "If my mayor isn't paying her taxes or utility bills, why do I have to? Even if the financial debts are paid, there's still the issue that they occurred."

And that's something council members won't soon forget as they look to improve their public perception.

News 14 Carolina reached out to Sims for comment, but our calls were not returned.

Council members said they are also asking for councilman Foster Douglas to resign from his position based on his financial issues.

10.11.12.247 ClientIP: 54.227.141.230 UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/) Profile: TWCSAMLSP