Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Self-dealing Skip Alston Style?

Self-dealing is a form of conflict of interest.

...“a situation where one takes an action in an official capacity
which involves dealing with oneself in a private capacity
and which confers a benefit on oneself."

...“You work for government and use your official position
to secure a contract for a private consulting company you own”
or “using your government position to get a summer job for your daughter”.

Where a fiduciary has engaged in self-dealing,
this constitutes a breach of the fiduciary relationship.


"The barbecue restaurant owned by Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston,
opened in 2005 with the help of a $200,000 development loan from the City of Greensboro,
has closed indefinitely.

...Alston said the loans for the shopping center have been paid off.

Michael Blair, a grants specialist for the City of Greensboro,
...said Alston’s other loan from the city was current
and that payments were being made in a timely fashion.

What other loans?

The Bar-B-Que Palace, which opened at 1524 E. Market St. in 2005,
now sits idle with a sign stating that the business is closed for remodeling.

Alston said when the price is right, “Everything is for sale except my wife and kids.”

Does this mean Skip sells political favors?

...He said he is not facing financial troubles,
and said the City of Greensboro doesn’t have to worry about getting back the money it loaned him.

...Alston the founder S & J Management Corporation
along with Alston and Alston LLC and East Market Street Square Inc."

Scott Yost

If political self-dealing involves an elected official
taking advantage of an undisclosed position in a transaction
and acts in self interest
instead of the interests of those represented,
did Skip Alston's loan modification by Greensboro's City Council
involve unethical conduct unbecoming
a Chairman of Guilford County's Commissioners
which violated the trust between Skip and his constituents
who all live inside of the City of Greensboro
and are therefore unknowingly collateralizing subordinated debt
through their tax dollars?

"In finance, subordinated debt (also known as subordinated loan,
subordinated bond, subordinated debenture or junior debt)
is debt which ranks after other debts
should a company fall into receivership or be closed.

Should Skip Alston have disclosed his involvement in a loan extension
that Greensboro taxpayers were asked to guarantee?

Such debt is referred to as subordinate,
because the debt providers (the lenders) have subordinate status
in relationship to the normal debt.

Should Greensboro City Staff have disclosed Skip Alston's interests,
as opposed to the name of a partnership
of which most would not know who the owners were?

Subordinated debt has a lower priority than other bonds of the issuer
in case of liquidation during bankruptcy, below the liquidator,
government tax authorities and senior debt holders in the hierarchy of creditors.

Because subordinated debt is repayable after other debts have been paid,
they are more risky for the lender of the money.

Should Greensboro City Council members have informed their constituents
that they were voting to refinance a subordinated loan for Skip Alston?

It is unsecured and has lesser priority
than that of an additional debt claim on the same asset.

Subordinated loans typically have a higher rate of return than senior debt
due to the increased inherent risk."


A financial entity can enter "selective default"
if it delays repayment of some of its financial obligations
while fully honoring others.

I believe Skip Alston's company may have selectively defaulted on debt owed to taxpayers.

If the loan is subordinated to a much larger loan to a private institution,
I believe Greensboro's Council may have allowed an undisclosed elected official
to selectively default on a loan in which a private party is ahead of taxpayers.

I believe a financial transaction with an elected official was hidden from the public.

I believe using an alias in an item on the consent agenda
may be a violation of North Carolina's State Ethics Code.

George Hartzman
"(e1) A member of the board or any other body exercising quasi‑judicial functions
...shall not participate in or vote on any quasi‑judicial matter in a manner
that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights to an impartial decision maker.

Impermissible conflicts include, but are not limited to,
a member having a fixed opinion prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change,
undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business,
or other associational relationship with an affected person,
or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter."

§ 160A‑388.
Who knew the loan was for Skip?

How could any council member knowingly vote on a agenda item
that would benefit another elected official in the same municipality?

Isn't Skip's district entirely in Greensboro?

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