The public learned nothing more about the WBLS investigation Wednesday, as testimony was held in executive session and the public was excluded.
A sparse group including residents, bloggers and reporter Mark Spivey waited until 7:35 for the 7 p.m. meeting to begin, but City Council President Annie McWilliams soon read the call for closed session. Present besides McWilliams were council members Cory Storch, Rebecca Williams, Vera Greaves and Adrian Mapp. Willliam Reid and Bridget Rivers were absent.
Testimony was to be heard from Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson and former City Administrator Bibi Taylor. Williamson spoke in closed session at the first meeting on Sept. 21, while Taylor gave explosive testimony on Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' push for a $20,000 check on the Friday before the Sunday broadcast on Aug. 1, 2010. The mayor countered Taylor's testimony at the second session on Oct. 19 and said the Town meeting on gang violence constituted an "emergency." But Purchasing Agent David Spaulding said at the time he was not informed that issuance of the check was related to an emergency.
Minutes of the closed session may be released by the next council meeting, depending on the nature of the testimony (if I heard right).
McWilliams said Wednesday the closed session was expected to be the last meeting on the topic. A report may be issued by December. The probe has been characterized solely as an investigation permitted by the city's special charter. Previous attempts to get information from the administration yielded little, leading to the governing body's move to invoke its subpoena powers and call individuals including the mayor to testify.
Click here to read Plaintalker's post on the forum, which featured an appearance by The Rev. Al Sharpton.