City Council President Gregory Announces Details of the Council's September 30 Inquiry of Facts Related to the FoxTail Festival

Posted on  09/26/2013 3:41 pm

Information is Released Concerning Individuals Requested to Appear at the Inquiry and What Council Wants to Learn from the Session

Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory today released details of City Council’s announced inquiry on Monday evening of the facts and circumstances related to the use of City resources for the recent FoxTail Festival. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and will be held in City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Redding City/County Building at 800 North French Street.

The Council President said the session will be conducted as a Committee of the Whole, meaning that all 13 Members of Council will be Members of the committee for purposes of discussion, debate and inquiry.  Council President Gregory, who will chair the meeting, said he chose the larger Council format for the inquiry because details related to the Fox Tail matter cross departmental lines and involve multi-level decision making.

Gregory said the session will be carried live on WITN, Channel 22, the City’s government television station, and will be streamed live on WITN’s website, WITN22.org.

“We should not be distracted from the daily affairs of City government because something of an extraordinary nature arises that prompts an inquiry by this Council or any other deliberative body,” said the Council President. “Because I am concerned that this matter is hampering the operations of the government, City Council will, assuming full cooperation by the Administration, endeavor to conduct a professional, thorough and concise inquiry that elicits facts and information to bring this matter to a close and most importantly, prevents this type of situation from happening again. There are too many other urgent issues that need the collective attention of the Administration and Council for us to be distracted by matters such as these. I am not in any way minimizing what happened, just indicating that I wish it had not happened and we need to get it behind us.”

Gregory said today that even before convening the Council session, there are at least four major questions that must be addressed at Monday’s session:

  • With former Chief Strategy Advisor to the Mayor, Velda Jones-Potter, having already stated publicly that she did not direct or order that City police services be used for the for-profit event, which individuals in the Administration did approve the use of police, fire, public works or any other City services that were made available for the event?
  • Which individual or individuals made the decision that the Fox Tail event organizers would not be required to pay for City services?
  • When will the City be repaid by the Fox Tail event organizers for the City services that were provided to the festival event?
  • Are there sufficient safeguards in place to ensure that the City’s special event permitting and review process will not be tampered with or circumvented in the future?

Council President Gregory said once the answers to these questions and others are developed during Monday’s inquiry, Council would expect Mayor Williams to take appropriate actions to remedy any outstanding issues brought forward by the Council’s inquiry.

The Council President said among those who are being requested to appear before the committee include Velda Jones-Potter, John Matlusky, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Charlotte Barnes, Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Police Chief Christine Dunning, WPD Inspectors Victor Ayala and Robert Cummings, WPD Captain Stephen Misetic, Fire Chief Anthony Goode, Public Works Commissioner Cleon Cauley and Riverfront Development Corporation Operations Manager Megan McGlinchey. Council President Gregory said other individuals may also be asked to appear before the Council inquiry as the Monday session approaches.

Council President Gregory said Council’s inquiry is being held to afford Council Members an opportunity to seek information and facts. Comments from the public will not be taken at Monday’s inquiry. Should Wilmington residents want to offer comments or information about the Fox Tail matter, they are invited to call the City Council office at (302) 576-2140 or email foxtail@WilmingtonDE.gov.

“City Council looks forward to concluding its inquiry in a timely manner,” said Council President Gregory. “The Council, and I am sure Mayor Williams, do not relish being in this situation, but I know we all agree that it is best to conduct a thorough and transparent inquiry and then move forward together in governing the City."