Goldsboro Councilman Antonio Williams made his case to be reinstated to the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority board of directors at the council’s meeting Monday night, just over a month after the council removed him over complaints that he had verbally attacked fellow board member Shycole Simpson-Carter.
Councilman Bevan Foster first brought up the issue during the council’s 5 p.m. work session, while the council discussed appointments to the many boards and commissions it oversees. He said that Williams should be reinstated due to the results of his Nov. 13 court appearance, where Judge Elizabeth Heath denied Simpson-Carter’s request for a temporary restraining order against Williams.
“A month and a half ago we removed councilman Williams from [the GWTA board], and I think due to the recent findings in court and everything else that he should be replaced back on that board to represent us as a council,” Foster said.
That suggestion garnered a lengthy silence from the rest of the council, before Mayor Chuck Allen suggested sending the request back to the GWTA board to see what it thought about Williams returning. It was Freeman Hardison Jr., the board’s chairman, who first requested that Williams be removed in a letter sent to Allen in October.
Foster said that council had never sought the opinion of a board before appointing a representative before, but Allen said that the council should take up the issue at its mid-December work session.
Williams then spoke up to say that he brings a different viewpoint to the board, and it would be a “disservice” to the community not to reinstate him.
“The issue is, when we have our meetings, we have no voice for the city of Goldsboro on that board right now,” he said.
“There’s someone there,” he said, referring to Simpson-Carter.
“Well, that someone is someone who misled individuals,” Williams retorted.
Williams was referring to the ongoing dispute between himself and Simpson-Carter, which entered the public eye after Simpson-Carter said Williams verbally attacked her during a Sept. 27 closed session meeting of the GWTA board and then again later at a meeting in Allen’s office in October. The incident led to Williams’ removal from the board, and later to Simpson-Carter’s failed attempt at a restraining order.
Simpson-Carter has said she intends to file a civil lawsuit against Williams as well.
Council members Bill Broadaway and David Ham agreed that the council should take up the issue at its work session. Foster also agreed to do so, but then said that the council should discuss removing Simpson-Carter from the board as well. He said that Simpson-Carter had made “false allegations” toward Williams, and that the court ruling against her restraining order disproved what she said.
Heath’s ruling in that case was that Simpson-Carter’s description of events did not warrant the particular type of restraining order she had applied for. The trial did not determine whether or not the events actually took place as described.
The board will reconvene Dec. 17 to finalize its list of appointments, including the issue of Williams’ spot on the GWTA board.