11/17/13 — Council to weigh result of Dail case

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Council to weigh result of Dail case

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 17, 2013 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro City Council is expected to enter into a settlement agreement Monday night with Dwayne Dail, whose civil lawsuit was scheduled to be heard later this month in federal court.

Dail, who was convicted in 1987 in Wayne County Superior Court of raping a 12-year-old girl, served 18 years of a life sentence before being released in 2008 after being exonerated on the basis of a DNA test.

In 2010, he filed the suit, charging the city with negligence and with violating his civil rights.

City officials issued an apology last week for misplacing the items that contained the DNA evidence, which was key to proving Dail's innocence.

"The apology to Mr. Dail is for the evidence not being organized," Goldsboro Public Information Officer Kim Best said. "Because we couldn't find the evidence he spent more time in jail than he needed to."

Dail was cleared after DNA evidence was collected from the victim's nightgown, which was found in 2008 in an evidence locker. Other evidence in the case, including the rape kit conducted at Wayne Memorial Hospital and hair samples, had already been destroyed.

Another man, William Neal, was later convicted and sentenced based on that DNA evidence in 2010.

The specific terms of the settlement were not finalized as of Friday afternoon, but the final figures will be released during the City Council's work session Monday night.

The City Council also is expected to discuss a schedule for the proposed $18.9 million Parks and Recreation bond referendum planned for a vote in May during its work session.

The referendum, if passed, would go to fund the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center, a multi-sports complex, greenway paving and Herman Park and Herman Park Center renovations.

The City Council also is expected to approve a contract for the Berkeley Boulevard widening project Monday night. Smithfield-based R.D. Braswell Construction submitted the lowest bid, coming in just under $105,000 for the project.

A right turn lane will be added onto Royall Avenue from Berkeley Boulevard and another southbound lane from New Hope Road will be built to connect with the section that is already a four-lane road.

Additionally, the City Council is expected to approve $20,000 for the restoration of the F-86 Sabre fighter jet on loan to the city since 1970 from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The plane has been on display at the Goldsboro Police Department since it was last refurbished in 1993.

In other business, a public hearing is expected to be set for the Dec. 16 meeting to discuss the possibility of closing a section of Hogan Street between Chestnut and Spruce streets.

The Planning Department staff initiated the closing request due to difficulties in maintaining the alley.

A host of other planning issues will be discussed at the meeting, including a proposed used car lot on the corner of Elm Street and Berkeley Boulevard, the sale of surplus property and farm lease agreements.

The work session will begin Monday at 5 p.m. in the large conference room of the City Hall annex and the regular session will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council chamber of City Hall.