Community Politics Veterans

Who’s ‘wrongdoing’ what?

49339063_388712515020968_1177415862009724928_n

As a rule I try not to name private citizens.  Elected officials are subject to scrutiny but private citizens are not.  Likewise, I don’t reference personal issues.   But when private citizens use social media to accuse their fellow citizens and respected organizations of serious crimes, they forfeit that privacy.  They become the news.

Last week i received several screen shots from a Facebook group called Hope Mills Chatter.  It’s the same private group that Commissioner Mitchell railed against in June and the same group operated by local resident Lisa Carter Waring.

This particular conversation occurred a few days ago between Commissioner Meg Larson, Al, Ferri, Lisa Carter Waring and David Messer.  I want to point out ‘the Chatter’ is a private group and only visible to its members.  As of today, their audience is more than 330 members.

We’ll discuss all of it, but I want to draw your attention to Messer’s comment first…

“I have thought all along the whole thing was about Teddy getting a high paying job as the administrator of the new retreat center in exchange for a cheap land deal.”

Above his comment we see Lisa Waring stating the same thing.  She makes a point to exclude the name of the individual, but adds the name of the company they believe is offering bribes for cheap land…LSF.  This is of course…Lone Survivor Foundation.

I spoke with Tim Byrom, the President of the Board of Directors for Lone Survivor Foundation.  Byrom is outraged that an elected official would be part of any conversation wherein LSF, a non-profit organization created to render healing to veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, and an organization with a stellar reputation nationwide, would be accused of offering bribes in exchange for discounts.

(Byrom asked me to omit the name of the local veteran they hired to run operations so I’ll refer to them as “Vet”)

“We already made a deal to hire an administrator before we’d even met Teddy Warner.  We had a deal with Vet that as soon as they retired from service they would come work for us at LSF, they would take over as our executive director of the operations in North Carolina.  They officially came on full-time in November 2018.”

Byrom also said Teddy Warner would not be qualified for any position at LSF.  Warner is a highly educated individual and a tremendous asset to this community…but he’s not a veteran.  In order to administer a local retreat or serve as an executive, any candidate must first have military experience.

Byrom also stated for the record that Warner never offered, suggested or implied he could secure any kind of discount on the land in Hope Mills.

Tim said, “We never discussed a price other than what they had on the tax rolls.”  This was during the June 4th presentation to the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners.  Mayor Warner doesn’t have a vote, but she asked the Board to consider donating the land to LSF.  The land was neglected by the municipality for more than 50 years.  In fact, it wasn’t even included in the initial inventory of assets given to McAdams Group to assess.

“Mayor Pro Tem came back and said ‘from an accounting standpoint we’ve been giving land away forever and we gave land away to the VFW’…later it came out they didn’t give that land away.”  Byrom.

49344952_593154251131481_3507410228243070976_n

Al Ferri’s response to Commissioner Larson is at the top of the article so I’ll share it here again…

“Sorry for the delayed response.  i remember it all too well.  No proof of anything, but I remember those three individuals that were together discussing something.  Funny how they scurried away when I pulled my truck up.  It took several months but we waited for the other shoe to drop and the thud on the floor sounded like LSF to me…but again, no proof.”

It would seem they’re referring to election night 2017.  Waring references that Commissioner Bellflowers asked for the investigation to go back ‘six months prior to the commissioners learning about it’ and they learned of LSF’s proposal in early June.

Byrom assured me the three individuals Ferri refers to seeing near the lake bed on election night… were absolutely not any member of LSF. “We didn’t know about this property in 2017.”  Byrom also said the property was always locked and they had to contact town staff every single time they wanted to access the property.

Byrom went on to say “If that’s the case then why, later at the meeting did she (Larson) tell me she was going to make this deal work?  If she thought there was collusion back in November 2017 why would she sit in a meeting with Teddy and myself and Terry (Jung) and not say anything about that?”

In fact, during the 7 1/2 months since the June presentation, Larson has used many reasons for not wanting to sell that land to LSF, but she’s never mentioned Teddy Warner or any member of LSF meeting at the lake-bed in November of 2017…or any other time.

“I don’t know why she would have ever been receptive to talking to us if she thought Teddy had some kind of collusion – that would have been the perfect time to bring that to bear, wouldn’t you think?” added Byrom.  He and the Lone Survivor Foundation moved on when the board rejected their last offer in October.  He had no idea any of the commissioners were still having conversations about this issue or that these accusations had been levied against the organization.

To be clear, this allegation against the Warner family is just the most recent in a long line of false accusations they’ve faced over a six month period.  It’s not clear who’s been fabricating the allegations, but there’s evidence that several board members have worked tirelessly to research each one…without consent from the whole Board.   Unfortunately, as each allegation proves false, the accusers simply move on to new conspiracy theories.  The Warner’s have been put in a situation where they have to defend themselves against an invisible enemy and a never-ending list of accusations.  And while our system is based on the premise that you’re innocent until proven guilty, the accusers have adopted the theory the Warner’s are guilty while the accusers figure out what they’re guilty of.

Questions you should be asking…

1.  How much is the investigation going to cost?  The Board voted to approve the investigation, without parameters.  As of today, there’s no time line and no salary cap.  The investigator gets $275/hour but we’re also paying his travel expenses and his assistant.  They’re interviewing the entire board and several staff members, but also reviewing nearly a year’s worth of correspondence.

2.  How will the results of the investigation be presented?  The Board hasn’t discussed the results at all.  Will we pay for a report to be generated…or will we pay for a presentation?  Either way, we know the board can’t discuss this in closed session and the tax payers deserve to know what we paid for.

3.  If the board doesn’t like the direction the investigation is going, if for instance, the investigator exonerated Mayor Warner quickly but finds ample evidence of wrongdoing by other board members, will they move to cancel the investigation before it’s conclusion?

 

 

9 comments

  1. This sounds just like the Democratic Party and their narrative about President Trump. Say it and worry about the truth later that ends up being fake news. If you hear he lie and never hear the truth then you only have the lie to go on.

    1. I’ve heard several people make that exact comparison. Trump and Russia, Kavannaugh and the sexual assault…they just keep slinging mud hoping something sticks

    2. This is Al Ferri. I am so far from a Democrat and a Trump voter, but more importantly, a Constitutional Conservative. Sorry to disappoint you but a Democrat I
      AM NOT.

  2. This is Al Ferri. I was mentioned and quoted in the article.

    I try my best to be polite. I saw three individuals who were having a conversation at the lake right after the Municipal Elections. I figure that I don’t what they were talking about. I can only assume that they were talking about their Grandkids, kind of like Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch were doing one day on an airplane parked on a tarmac, so While I mentioned that I saw something, I felt it was prudent and respectful not to mention who.Besides, who would listen to me anyway? Until now.

    So the good folks at hope mills.net decided that they should not only speculate and mention some folks who not only were not who I saw at the lake that day, but folks I had no idea until last summer that they were even interested in buying lake bed number 2.

    What I will say is that two of them seem openly for the LSF sale and one of them is a town employee who may or may not have the ability to facilitate requests to move such a proposal through the wickets, so to speak. Now again, they may have been jusr talking about Grand kids or the prospects of water 💦 in the lake again, who knows…

    but said meeting does coincide with timing of about a month after a soil sample failure at LSF’s original site. And, it is a funny coincidence that all three of these individuals have either shown a positive interest in all of this, and the other…we will conservatively say “may” have had the ability to facilitate the town’s part in processing this. Again, purely speculation on my part, much like hopemills.net seems to have, since mentioning LSF in their article; who I agree, they were not who I was talking about at all, so they were right to say they were not there. The three people I am talking about are locals. Do they want me to mention names while there’s an investigation going on? Just say so and I will.

    So, on to the nice person in this group who has been working as a mole and providing screenshots to hope mills.net…whoever you are 😉. You see, I am a bit scared of being bullied on the internet, private citizens and all, but I feel I should face my fears and make this post and see what they will do with it.

    Again, I make no accusations, as I have no clue why they congregated at the lake. I cannot stress that enough. But if they are interested, please let them know that I may be willing to say who I saw if they so desire. So perhaps they can borrow that info from whatever news source I give it too….but until then, would someone tell these inspectors that are here that I am willing to tell them my story of a meeting that has no proof of what these three individuals were talking about?

    My take on this… Why sell our lakebed to an non profit group from out of state, when we have so many local veterans of our own….will they be able to make local coordinations to use this land? Why sell at all when we just spent $82K on a survey that stated we can use more nature trails? This area can be used for hiking. mountain biking, and/or Horseback riding trails by our own citizens. It can be coordinated for use by a veteran’s group if so desired…so why sell it to one so cheaply? (Wouldn’t you just love to follow that money trail?

    So, what did I see? three individuals congregating in the early evening before sundown at the Hope Mills Lake. what were the coincidences?

    1) This Meeting occurred shortly after the municipal elections in 2017, approximately 1 month after the soil sample failure of the prospective land buy in Linden, NC.

    2) 2 of 3 of these individuals have openly admitted they were pro LSF, and/or at least their actions would suggest.

    3) 2 of 3 of these individuals are either elected officials/town employees.

    A little about me… I am not only for veterans, I am a veteran of 21 years. 20 on active duty and 1 in the NC Army National Guard. I retired from the US Air Force a Master Sergeant/E7. That said, why should our local vets be forced to pay taxes and give away parklands on the cheap and have to ask for permission thru the VA system to receive treatment to use it and coordinate through a Texas non profit organization to do it? How do we benefit as vets? how do we benefit as taxpayers and veterans? More importantly, who is benefitting and why do they seem so fired up to give away our land?

    Did they tell you we will benefit from commerce in Hope Mills? How is that? maybe one more airplane a month worth of veterans landing at our airport….some tax there yes but small fees and low frequency of landings. They would stay at the lake so not our hotel. Catering? is there even a catering company left in Hope Mills? most likely that may come from Fayetteville. Not exactly reaping the big rewards of a destination city in my estimation

    I served 12+ yrs in the Army from July 1988 to Feb 2002 as an 11B3PF7 (Staff Sergeant E6, Airborne Infantry Pathfinder) two tours in the 82nd one of which I went to Combat with Cco 2/325 AIR for OPERATIONS Desert Shield and Desert Storm…. and one as a Weapons Squad leader Cco 1/505th PIR … I also served at Ft Campbell KY in 2/327 Infantry as an Infantry Team Leader, 101st Pathfinders (Airborne) as a Division Pathfinder, and Bco 2/502nd Infantry as a Line Squad Leader.

    I served in NC National Guard, Roseboro Armory, (Feb 2001 – Feb 2002.) as a dismount Squad leader in Det 1 Bco 1/120th Infantry.

    Later I joined the US Air Force (Feb 2002 to Aug 2009 where I served until retirement from active duty. School at Keesler AFB MS, Pope AFB 21 Special Tactics Squadron (Feb 2003-Feb 2006), I served as the Mission Support Flight Superintendent and deployed for OPERATIONS Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Later served in the 8th Fighter Squadron (Wolf Pack!) Kunsan Air base, Korea, where I served in 8th Communications Squadron as the Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (ATCALS) Maintenance Supervisor and later as the Maintenance Systems support Branch Manager, where I oversaw Quality Assurance, Job Control and Supply Ops. I retired from Robins AFB, GA’s 5th Mobility Group, 53rd Comm Squadron Deployable ATCALS Supervisor.

    So yes, I am a veteran….no I am not against veterans, but I am against my hometown people getting fleeced by a group that will profit off of us and use the name of our veterans to do it.

    I have served Hope Mills on the Lake Advisory Committee, and coached 16 athletic seasons of Special Olympics for Cumberland County in Cycling, Basketball and softball.

    So,now that hope mills.net’s speculation has evoked my response, do you really want me to out your personal cronies and personal media darlings?

    1. YES! Don’t confuse me with your friends. I started this site so the people of Hope Mills would have a source of information that wasn’t clouded in false narratives, not as you all like to speculate, to help my preferred elected officials. If you saw three people at the lake, tell us who they were. Let them answer for themselves. I will never be a proponent of ANYONE hiding truths.

    2. Well I guess three individuals meeting near the lake is suspicious except they probably were debating if the hot dogs at Robins is as good as Big T. Unless you have a recording and regardless of who ‘they’ were get a life.

  3. All I’ve seen is a bunch of nothing and still waiting on the names. Several accusations have been made and yet each one has failed to prove anything and the latest was when the town attorney had to read a letter from FCEDC to respond to questions from one of our commissioners through the town attorney. (oh who voted on a independent investigation?) Your little group has been looking into this since July bouncing from one wacky idea to another and yet nothing, because if you had something trust me you all would be a chatter. Have you talked to LSF? Let me guess you haven’t someone tells you about LSF. Have you talked with FCEDC? Let me guess you haven’t someone tells you about FCEDC. Have you talked to the Mayor? Let me guess you haven’t someone tells you about it. Several times now this blog has shown a couple of the commissioner’s misinform the public, change the facts and one even felt the need to do it from her commissioners chair to only be proven once again to either lie or misrepresent the truth. So I ask how far fetched is it to think the same thing isn’t happening here? The cool thing is about this in all truth a 6 month investigation has already been done on the Mayor and turned up nothing however the commissioners are also being investigated I wonder how much wrong doing is going to come from that?

    Thank you for your service I’m also a Vet of 21 years and the owner of this blog is also Vet.

  4. Omg! I don’t know Al Ferri but, reading that post was excruciating. Is he a real person? Really? I don’t know him. He sounded like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez giving a stump speech. If so, he’ll be the HM gift that keeps on giving! Bring it on.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.