Auditor maintains councilman received ‘preferential treatment’

The Political Agitator’s response: So why does Beth continue to respond to reporters Bill West and Lindell John Kay since she said the audit was over? She said she has turned over her findings to some agencies in which she has not named. Since she has turned over the information to some agencies why in the hell Bill and Lindell are not doing articles about the agencies? Well my ignant opinion is they either don’t want to or have and don’t want to report their response. I also wonder if this is more about somehow trying to get make Beth look bad since she has Republican opposition in November. But what I feel is clear to me is the intent is to keep feeding Racist Special Cs and they will continue to post ignant mess along with Fighting Crime, Rocky Mount Concerned Citizens, WHIG-TV, Mayor Sandy Claus Roberson, Randy Adcox, LoveRockyMount, J. Keith Harris, and some others. So if Bill and Lindell ain’t going to do articles on the agencies where Beth said she turned her findings over to, what is their motive?

State Auditor Beth Wood told the Telegram she stands by the report she and her team made public more than a month ago of the probe of the City of Rocky Mount’s finances and operations.

Specifically, Wood said she believes that an email more than four years ago from then-City Manager Charles Penny to City Finance Director Amy Staton shows Councilman Andre Knight went from being handled in the normal course of utility business to being handled personally by Penny.

“That is preferential treatment,” Wood said. “He’s not being treated like every other customer that is paying for their utilities to the city — receiving those utilities and paying for them through the city.”

Wood was commenting Thursday in response to a statement the municipality issued in response to stories locally about emails in June 2016 between Penny and Staton, this about Knight’s utilities accounts.

The emails show Penny made clear he wanted the municipal Business Services Center not to phone Knight about Knight’s utilities accounts and told Staton, “If there is an issue go through you or me. Thanks.” Staton emailed back saying “ok.” (Read more)

City emails confirm orders about Knight’s utility bills

The Political Agitator’s response: So where in the email does it say Andre Knight told them to do anything? Just help me to understand. It appears the newspaper articles are to continue to bring about division in Rocky Mount as it relates to the audit. Beth Wood said she was done and turned her findings over to some agencies. So why keep writing redundant articles?

Emails more than four years ago between then-City Manager Charles Penny and City Finance Director Amy Staton indeed make clear the municipal Business Services Center was not to phone Knight about Knight’s utilities accounts.

Specifically, an email from Penny to Staton said, “If there is an issue either go through you or me. Thanks.”

A follow-up email from Penny to Staton said those accounts were for locations along Cherry Street in the Hillsdale area, Greenfield Drive in the northwestern part of the city and Cleo Street in the South Rocky Mount area.

Staton, in her email response, told Penny “ok.”

The emails are dated June 10, 2016, and were obtained on Wednesday from the City of Rocky Mount by the Telegram via a request under the State Public Records Act.

Knight could not be reached for comment via phone.

Knight has been a focus of much attention because of a May 15 report of a probe by State Auditor Beth Wood and her team of the City of Rocky Mount’s finances and operations. (Read more)

Emails confirm Councilman Andre Knight at center of Rocky Mount utility bill scandal by Lindell John Kay

ROCKY MOUNT — The identity of a city council member who has nearly $50,000 in unpaid utility bills has been confirmed through public records requests.

Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight received preferential treatment concerning unpaid utility bills, according to a report released in mid-May by N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood.

The report doesn’t name Knight, but this newspaper obtained an email from Rocky Mount city officials under the N.C. Public Records Act that identifies him. The email is referenced in the state auditor’s report, but the reference to Knight is redacted and replaced with the term “council member.”

In two phone conversations Tuesday, Knight maintained his bills have been paid.

“You need to stop fishing, Lindell,” Knight said. “You need to stop lying.”

On Tuesday, the city released three emails from June 10, 2016, between then-City Manager Charles Penny and Finance Director Amy Staton. In the email exchange with the subject line “Council Member Knights Utilities,” Penny tells Staton, “Ask the Business office not to call Council member Knight about his utilities. If there is an issue either go through you or me. Thanks.” (Read more)

Bronson Williams Requested City Of Rocky Mount NC Bad Debt Write-off History But Mayor Sandy Roberson & Councilman Lige Daughtridge Care To Talk About That Part

The Political Agitator’s response: Thank you Bronson Williams for requesting and sharing this information. I am going to see how the Ignant Racist Special Cs and the Ignant Safe Negro Black Folk twist this. Now Run & Tell That! I’ll Wait! Curmilus Butch Dancy II 2020 
Bronson Williams

Just now ·

The City of Rocky Mount has written off $24 million since 1999. Most of which was centered around residential, but we do see business owners benefited from write-offs as well. While attempts to divide and conquer are present we must focus on growing Rocky Mount.

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Rocky Mount NC – It’s Time that We Get Some Real Answers About This Latest Audit

It’s Time that We Get Some Real Answers About This Latest Audit

State Auditor Beth Wood, in justifying why she launched her expensive, anticlimactic investigation into the goings on in Rocky Mount, said she was prompted to do so after being bombarded by citizen complaints about alleged improprieties. But I, along with a growing number of citizens across the region, are questioning Ms. Wood’s judgment and her motives.

No matter where you stand on the politics, citizen should be yelling at the top of their lungs demanding to know why there was such an egregious waste of taxpayers’ money and resources. To be clear, Ms. Wood authorized spending nearly a half-million dollars ($421,282.00) and a year’s worth of manpower hours (4,058 hours) to come to her most dramatic findings, that: 1.) A city councilman was able to evade $47,000 in utility bills; and 2.) City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney overspent her expense account to the tune of $500 a year for three years. Let that sink in, and forget for a moment that Ms. Wood’s alleged objective is to ensure governmental fiscal accountability.

Now, I ask every thoughtful, honest person to take a closer look at these charges. In the case of the councilman, whom Ms. Wood later identified as Andre Knight, there are several things that are quite troubling. Firstly, the North Carolina Utilities Commission as well as federal data privacy laws prohibit the release of personal information about utility account holders. Ms. Wood certainly knew that, because her audit never identified Mr. Knight by name. Yet, when she was interviewed by television and print reporters, she quickly threw the councilman’s name to the wind.

Since Mr. Knight has denied the charges, the public has a right to know what proof she has to the contrary and why she was not obliged to follow the law. Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that reporters had gathered all of Rocky Mount’s utility bills and matched them to certain properties belonging to Mr. Knight. Those reporters would still have to determine whether all of the utility bills were his responsibility – and not that of a tenant or sub-tenant – during, in this particular case, the entire twenty (20)-year period. That’s right, the period in question traverses two decades!

Responding to the auditor, the city wrote, “The write-off amount the City reported … did not have supporting documentation in the form of printable billings that verified the total amount. A true or even proximate value could never be reconciled to the amount that was reported to the [auditor]. A total of $47,000 has never been substantiated by the City Staff or the [auditor] but was gleaned from a data dump performed by the City’s Finance Department. …In addition, many of the balances referenced by the [auditor] dating back to 1999 were much higher than normal residential accounts and defied logic as to how the calculations of those were made, much less confirmed. It is not clear whether the [auditor] investigated, when informed, that the account in question was subject to possible manipulation by unauthorized City staff for a good portion of the time that the write-offs covered.”

What’s even more disturbing is the auditor’s comment that, “Other City residents had to pay their bills timely to continue to receive services.” Thus, even if Mr. Knight’s bills had been written off, as she claims, her statement clearly suggests that Mr. Knight is the only person during this 20-year period who was given such a benefit. Is there anyone who believes this? Of course not. In fact, there were about $20 million in utility bills that were written off by the city during this same period. Why aren’t those names bantered about in public discourse?

Now, let’s delve into Ms. Wood’s other major finding, that Ms. Small-Toney lavished herself with lobster and shrimp dinners at the public’s expense. I have been outspoken about my belief that this audit –like the previous one that fizzled in a pool of racial animus – is an outright assault on the city’s Black leadership. First of all, it is absolutely outrageous to suggest that this city’s chief executive should’ve stuck to the cheap side of the menu. Who believes for a moment that the public outrage would be just as intense if it had gotten out that Mayor Sandy Roberson’s or a white city manager had chosen seafood over chicken or spaghetti? It harkens to the old racist trope of the “welfare queen” spending her food stamps on luxury dinners, instead of more modest fare.

Ms. Small-Toney provided receipts for a full $1,416.12 of the $1,575 in question, and she noted that the expenditures were for city staff dinners at conferences for the National League of Cities in Charlotte in 2017 ($858.62) and the ElectriCities in Ashville in 2018 ($557.50). A balance of $158 was unaccounted for. Sorry Ms. Woods, but this is hardly a finding that can be justified by such an expensive, yearlong investigation.

But Ms. Woods is not the only public figure whose motivation must be questioned. The mayor – yes, the same one who campaigned on his ability and desire to bring this racially fractured city together – has accelerated the longstanding attacks on the duly elected council majority and city manager, both of whom happen to be African American. He really revealed himself when he stepped up his political gamesmanship and asked Mr. Knight to resign. He knew that was throwing raw meat to an angry white contingency in this city who contend that Mr. Knight’s position on the City Council is in direct conflict with his role as the leader of the local chapter of the NAACP. (That white rage is clear to anyone paying attention to several local social media pages.) This is a telling indication of this city’s racial climate. The NAACP’s mission is to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, has an equal opportunity to succeed in society. And the truth is, that mission should be in perfect harmony with anyone seeking to hold a council seat or sit in the mayor’s seat. Many African Americans worked for Mr. Roberson’s campaign, sincerely believing he would live up to his promise.

I’m in agreement with State Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe), who in recent days is asking from accountability from the state auditor and the mayor. Like many residents, he is asking why such a minute sliver of the city’s population (less than 4 tenths of one percent) was able to trigger such an expensive, protracted investigation. We want to know:

· Who were the complainants?

· What is her proof against Councilman Knight, and how, with protections afforded by law, was the auditor able to publicize his name as the utility account holder?

· Was Knight the only account holder who received write-offs during that 20-year period, as she intimated in the audit?

· If not, why was that information on other account holders withheld?

· How many others received write-offs; what are their names; and for how much were the entitlements?

· Why did Ms. Small-Toney receive such notable mention in the audit report when she was not employed until 2017 and many of the allegations date back to 1999?

It’s no secret that the audit was triggered by the usual crowd of disgruntled citizens who can find no comfort in the progressive agenda for downtown Rocky Mount developed and supported by the current city administration and City Council.

To those detractors, I say stop attempting to do an end-around a local government that was elected by the residents of this city, and allow the will of the majority to move forward.

Ms. Woods, stop allowing yourself to be a puppet of the recalcitrant obstructionists in our city and work to regain your reputation as an impartial state auditor. And, Mr. Roberson, be a change-maker – that person you promised during your campaign – not the one plotting against those making our city better for everyone.

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 

Pinetops NC

Fighting Crime Allow This Mess On Their Page Really! Oh Nothing New!

Damn shame how Black Folk allow this Racist Page to promote the White Supremacy Movement. This is B.S. to post a photo clearly of Andre Knight Rocky Mount City Councilman accusing him of stealing. I will say it again I act on the facts as presented and what has come before me is Beth Woods NC State Auditor did an audit. She presented her findings and the Rocky Mount City Council responded to the findings. But because the city released the findings draft along with their response on Thursday before the auditor released the full report on Friday. Auditor didn’t like the city response and now both the Auditor, Mayor Sandy Claus Roberson and Councilman Lige Daughtridge Community Council have been in the media since that Friday. Knight spoke to media for the 1st time on yesterday. Auditor said she has turned over her findings to some agencies she felt needed to know about her findings. So I say let’s see how those agencies respond and let the chips fall were they lay.

Ashley Roy Hill what a lie I didn’t create that photo do not know how to photo-op photos

Knight breaks silence about state auditor’s probe – Rocky Mount Telegram

City Councilman Andre Knight told a regional television station he did not engage in criminal wrongdoing.

Knight on camera made clear he is not going to resign in the aftermath of a report of an investigation of the City of Rocky Mount by State Auditor Beth Wood and her team, which included him as a focus of the probe.

“I have never stolen,” Knight told WTVD in an interview conducted in the council chamber and aired on Friday afternoon.

“I have never taken. I never asked for preferential treatment. I have always fought and worked hard,” Knight said.

Word of WTVD planning to air video of an interview with Knight began circulating via social media on Thursday evening, this after activist and videographer Curmilus Dancy II posted a message on his blog. (Read more)

ABC11’s Full Interview With Mayor Pro-Tem Andre Knight Audit Findings About Him Receiving Write-Offs For His Utility Bills

Click On Photo To Watch Video
The DCN News Blog Online TV
attended the Interview

1st Video is 2 minutes
2nd Video is 26 minutes
3rd Video is Beth Woods 14 Minutes


Stay Tuned For Entire Video Coming Soon On Gloria Rodriguez Facebook Page, All I Got To Say Is It Is Going To Be Good!

Can’t wait til the whole entire video is posted on Gloria Rodriguez WTVD Facebook page.

Gloria Rodriguez WTVD

1 hr ·

I talked to North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood about Rocky Mount Mayor Pro Tem Andre Knight’s response to the audit. Hear what she has to say at 4:30, 6p ABC11 WTVD

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Gloria Rodriguez WTVD

4 hrs ·

EXCLUSIVE-Rocky Mount Mayor Pro Tem Andre Knight talked to me exclusively about the allegations against him in the state audit. Did he get away with not paying nearly $48k in utility bills? And what about the other allegations against Rocky Mount leaders? What he’s saying at 4:30, 6p ABC11 WTVD

No photo description available.

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Rocky Mount Special Cs Requested Audit To Be Done On Targeted Black Elected Officials Because They Want To Take Back The City

The Special Cs in Rocky Mount has been mad every since the city council became a Black Majority and then when more Blacks were put in leadership roles. Rocky Mount has a Black majority council, Black city manager, Black police chief, Black fire chief and Black department heads. But there are some Ignant Safe Black Folk who team up with the Special Cs as well.

Special Cs mission since 2003 has been to take back the city. Take back the city is actually talking about taking back the POWER!

So 213 complaints were filed against Black Elected Officials Rev. Andre Knight, Rev. Reuben Blackwell and Rochelle Small-Toney City Manager.

It is stated that, “In addition, several allegations outside of OSA’s authority were referred to the appropriate state agencies and legal authorities.” So I am going to see how the state agencies and legal authorities respond.

Why is the name of the council member not listed in the audit report? So why is Andre Knight name been attached to this? I am just asking because I don’t see it it the report but I have seen the Special Cs talk about this over the years. I have no proof so I can only go by what is in the report and what Knight says.

Who are the downtown managers?

I can tell who the city manager is.


• Multiple City officials prevented the Business Services Center from attempting to collect $47,704 in utility bills owed by a City council member.
• Multiple Downtown Development Managers failed to follow program guidelines resulting in $32,452 of uncollected loans and $28,000 of improperly awarded funds.
• The Engineering Division’s non-compliance with the City’s Code of Ordinances could cost the City $31,000.
• The City Manager failed to comply with the City’s travel policy resulting in $1,575 in unallowable travel expenses.

• The Business Services Center should be permitted to follow its Customer Service Policy without intervention from other City officials.
• The Assistant City Manager should enhance program oversight and monitoring activities to ensure recipients adhere to program guidelines.
• The Director of Engineering should ensure the City complies with its Code of Ordinances requirements regarding performance bonds and letters of credit.
• The City Manager should comply with the City’s established policies related to travel.

Key findings and recommendations are not inclusive of all findings and recommendations in the report.

Wow! This investigation required 4,058 hours at an approximate cost of $421,284.

I am so glad I can think, read and comprehend things for myself however I have no problem with asking questions when it is things that I do not understand.

I can only go by the facts presented before me in responding to the audit. How in the hell can someone accuse Andre Knight being the councilman when the audit does not name anyone?

What I see is findings from the City and the recommendations from the State Auditor’s office so if I am correct that is what happens findings and recommendations. I see where the City has put corrective actions in place.

Special Cs Keith Harris former Rocky Mount Fire Chief, Jerry Fisher who used to be on WHIG-TV Morning Show along with deceased Mark Bowling who attacked Knight daily years ago, Clint Williams formerly on WHIG-TV, Lige Daughtridge Rocky Mount Councilman & Founder Community Council, WHIG-TV, Robbie Davis Nash County Commissioners Chair, Fighting Crime, Tales of an Educated Debutante and the Special Cs that have attended the Rocky Mount City Council meetings trying to discredit these Black leaders. Oh somebody said the Feds were coming to lock up folk especially Keith Harris who took a photo that he was on Jones Street visiting Beth’s office. Definitely can’t leave out Lindell John Kay former Reporter Rocky Mount Telegram who was writing about the Black leaders almost daily after consulting with the Special Cs and making their voices heard. Lindell is now a Reporter for the Spring Hope Enterprise paper owned by the Wilson Daily Times.

It appears that Beth Woods is mad because the City released the response to the draft audit before they did. One would think that it was illegal for the City to put the audit out 1st but I do not believe it was illegal. She said no one has ever reported before the audit came out so does that make it illegal?

So why is the other millions of dollars in the audit not reported on such as folk living on the reservoir refusing to pay fees along with other write-offs? I understand there are others who have had payment arrangements but included.

I find it strange that the Nash County Republican Party is requesting the Edgecombe County Democratic Party to ask that Andre Knight and Reuben Blackwell to resign but why in the hell have they not asked that Senator Richard Burr Republican NC resign his post as it relates Burr’s alleged conflicts extend beyond his coronavirus-related stock trades. I don’t recall Edgecombe County Democratic Party asking them to ask Burr to resign.

I have been actively engaged in Rocky Mount Politics since the late 80’s before Blackwell was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Donald Armstrong who transitioned. Knight didn’t get elected until 2003.

I remember it so clearly that during a our group Common Ground meeting at a Caucasian church that a Caucasian member of our group said that the Caucasians said they were going to move out of the city limits.

Special Cs have been mad about the Event Center being located on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount.

Knight sought to be elected to the council when he purchased the prestigious big house formerly owned by Wimberley Gregory house on Falls Road to make it an adult daycare center. The planning board voted against it. Knight was employed as the GED Teacher at Edgecombe Community College and he was given an evaluation twice in less than a year. I told him they were going to fire him because he was speaking out against the city and at that time he along with the NAACP spoke out against them becoming an All American City.

Knight later became the President of the Rocky Mount NAACP and that made the Special Cs even madder saying it was a conflict of interest for him to serve as a councilmember and be President of the NAACP.

I want to end by saying anybody that know me know that I call out Black, Caucasians and other folk. I am for justice no matter who it is for or against. I have no permanent friends no permanent enemies only permanent interest.

Read Entire Audit Report

City of Rocky Mount

Follow me on my blog The DCN News Blog Online TV and you will be glad that you did.

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 

Pinetops, NC

Nash GOP calls on Knight, Blackwell to resign Rocky Mount City Council seats

By Lindell J. Kay | | 252-265-8117

NASHVILLE — The Nash County Republican Party is calling on its Democratic counterparts to seek the resignation of two Rocky Mount city councilmen in the aftermath of a critical state report detailing city hall malfeasance.

“Given the information in the state auditor’s report, it is clear that time has now come for the Nash County Democratic Party, the Edgecombe County Democratic Party, the N.C. Democratic Party, Gov. Roy Cooper, Sen. Toby Fitch, Rep. Shelly Willingham and Rep. James Gailliard to call on their fellow Democrats, Andre Knight and Reuben Blackwell, to resign their seats on the Rocky Mount City Council immediately,” Nash GOP Chairman Mark Edwards said in a Friday afternoon news release.

The report issued by N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood includes information on city officials writing off nearly $50,000 in unpaid utility bills for Knight and inappropriate grants and unpaid loans for the Opportunities Industrialization Center, a nonprofit organization headed by Blackwell. (Read more)

Steak, lobster, credit and free utilities: Audit says Rocky Mount misused taxpayer funds

By Lindell J. Kay | | 252-265-8117

ROCKY MOUNT — A scathing state audit report released Friday paints a picture of officials who used City Hall as their personal ATM while bilking taxpayers of thousands of dollars.

The report issued by N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood includes information on a councilman with nearly $50,000 in unpaid utility bills, a city manager who ate lobster and steak on the city’s dime, a former mayor who owes $30,000 in subdivision engineering costs and another councilman’s organization that received inappropriate grant funding and didn’t repay loans.

Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney failed to comply with city travel policies. Unallowable expenses included meals for city council members’ spouses with the costs for each meal far exceeding the allowable per diem rate. Specifically, Small-Toney used the city’s credit card to charge an average of $95.40 per person for one meal and $50.69 per person for the other meal instead of the allowable $21 per diem dinner rate. (Read more)

2 councilmen, city manager, former mayor implicated in Rocky Mount financial probe

By Lindell J. Kay | | 252-265-8117

ROCKY MOUNT — City officials tried to mislead the public with a press release about an investigation into City Hall’s finances, State Auditor Beth Wood said Thursday.

“The actual report will refute quite a bit of what’s in the city response,” Wood said. “Much of the information in their press release is inaccurate.”

Wood said city officials don’t have the authority to release confidential information from a draft audit report.

The city’s statement, released at noon Thursday, lists five findings in the report along with mitigating explanations.

The press release also fails to name any city officials involved in nonpayment of utility bills, loans and other apparent malfeasance.

“The real story will be released tomorrow,” Wood said Thursday afternoon. The report will be uploaded to the state auditor’s website at 10 a.m. Friday.

According to the press release, the city wrote off a councilman’s unpaid utility bills. (Read More)