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Charlotte Observer: Lawyer takes Charlotte to court over private Panthers dealing

From the Charlotte Observer (4/2/13): A Charlotte lawyer on Tuesday accused the Charlotte City Council of violating North Carolina’s open meetings law when it agreed in closed session in January to support a tax hike for renovating Bank of America Stadium.

Paul Whitfield, in a motion filed in Superior Court, asked that the city be cited for contempt of court and fined at least $1.4 million. That’s 1 percent of the $144 million that City Council discussed giving to the Carolina Panthers for upgrading their stadium.

In a closed meeting Jan. 14, the City Council voted 7-2 to support increasing the food and beverage tax from 1 percent to 2 percent. That would have provided $144 million of the $300 million that Panthers officials say is needed to make improvements at the stadium.

The proposal to increase the food and beverage tax was scuttled when state lawmakers said they would not support the plan. Instead, lawmakers suggested that city officials use existing hotel tax money. Council members say that probably would amount to about $120 million.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/04/02/3955709/lawyer-tak-charlotte-to-court.html#storylink=cpy

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Colin Donohue,
4/3/2013 9:05 AM