Thursday, July 22, 2010

Part #2 Free Tickets at the Greensboro Coliseum , Did Sitting Council Member Get a Free Pass To The ACC Tournament?

Let's start at the beginning of this journey when back on February 20, 2010, Triadwatch had a post titled "Free Tickets To The Circus Handed Out By Greensboro City Council Members, Is This Legal or Ethical of Conflicts of Interest" , CLICKHERE .

Now we have part #2, where Greensboro City Council member T. Dianne-Bellamy Small had this exchange with Greensboro Coliseum manager Matt Brown at the 7-20-2010 city council meeting. Below is a edited version of a exchange between the councilwomen and coliseum drector Matt Brown

Greensboro City Council member T. Dianne-Bellamy Small says she attended either the Women's ACC Tournament or the Men's ACC Tournament, and spoke with the "Little Guys" who are the non-skilled service workers working the event who otherwise would have been unemployed in March.

The "Little Guys" talked with T. Dianne-Bellamy Small and they thanked her for having the ACC tournament.

She also talked about the "little guys" who got the opportunity to see a national televised game at the coliseum both at the men's and womens ACC Tournament . These "little guys" were there but the councilwomen could not remember the name of the group of school aged children that came to the ACC Tournament wearing the same shirts. She knew that they were there at the coliseum because the councilmember said that "she was there" as the beggining of the video shows.

Then she asks Matt Brown about his records on giving away tickets to the coliseum at certain events like holiday on ice, or circus. This is where we look back at the ethical issues and conflicts of interest with giving away tickets to council members to give out as we talked about back in February as linked above in the post .

It is great that the Greensboro Coliseum gives away tickets to disadvantaged youths in the area, but are local politicians getting free passes along with them?

Now let's get to another issue in and of itself in that we know by the video above that the councilwomen was at the ACC Tournament, either the men's or women's or maybe both. You can also see that in the video she points to herself as being able to afford tickets to the coliseum. The Men's ACC tournament book for all the games will run you around $363 and women's around $99 or were there single game tickets available for sale? Did the councilwomen T. Dianne Bellamy-Small buy her tickets to the ACC Tournament? or Did someone give her free tickets to the event? Was she at both the men's and women's tournament? The issue of free tickets came up back in February and here is some discussion back then:

Below is from the N.C.Board of Ethics CLICKHERE


Should a Public Official accept free tickets from an agency vendor to a sporting event, play, or fundraising event?

Answer: Generally, no. It is generally not proper for Public Officials to accept gifts or services from someone whom the official regulates, contracts with, or otherwise does business with as part of his service as a Public Official. At a minimum, this can cause the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Does it make any difference if the tickets to a sporting event are season tickets or tickets the vendor received as part of its sponsorship of the event so that there was no purchase made specifically for the Public Official?

Answer: No. It does not matter how the vendor got the tickets.

Can a vendor take a Public Official to entertainment events when the Official has traveled to the vendor’s home city or when both vendor and Official are out of town (like at a non-vendor sponsored seminar)?

Answer: Not if it is otherwise prohibited. Ethics requirements do not end at the border.

Since T. Dianne Bellamy-Small states that she was at the tournament, it would be interesting to see if she really paid for her tickets, or did she accept free tickets?

Don't worry because the Charlotte area and their local elected officials have also had problems with tickets to tournaments as well CLICKHERE .

We also have the Greater Greensboro Open just around the corner, and knowing that free tickets are given out like candy for this event. Which councilmembers will we see in the corporate boxes eating for free? 

If you would like to see the whole exchange between Matt Brown and Greensboro City Council member T. Dianne-Bellamy Small you can go to the city's web site CLICKHERE and it is around the 2 hour and 31 minute mark.

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thelasttickets said...

nice blog and video also too good thanks for sharing this with us...

triadwatch said...

you are welcome, not many local bloggers embed the local political scene but sometimes it is worth it to hear them say what they say on youtube