The cost of not having gun shows at the Greensboro Coliseum may be $400,000 according to documents recently released.
Mayoral candidate Eric Robert has been asking for public documents related to the cancelation of gun shows at the Greensboro Coliseum for almost a year, and Robert finally received a response to one of his public records requests.
On April 8, Robert filed a lawsuit against fellow mayoral candidate Mayor Nancy Vaughan, City Manager Tai Jaiyeobo and the City of Greensboro, alleging that the city had not released public documents as required by state law.
But it appears from Robert’s press release that the documents Robert received were not in response to the lawsuit but in response to Robert revising his public records request. Robert reported that he requested documents concerning Rodney Sorrell, who held the gun shows at the Greensboro Coliseum, and struck pay dirt.
As previously noted, it is often difficult for someone making a public records request to adequately describe a document they have never seen but have reason to believe does exist.
In response to the request for documents concerning Sorrell, Robert received a number of documents that raise even more questions about the city’s convoluted public records request system.
Robert received two draft copies of an agreement between Sorrell and the Greensboro Coliseum. In one, the Greensboro Coliseum agrees to pay Sorrell $75,000 on signing the agreement and $75,000 a year from 2021 to 2025.
In the other agreement, the Greensboro Coliseum agrees to pay Sorrell $80,000 on signing the agreement and $80,000 per year from 2021 to 2025 for a total of $400,000.
However, neither agreement is signed.
Since the Greensboro Coliseum has not had gun shows since 2020, the logical assumption is that an agreement was reached with Sorrell for at least a total of $400,000 to sell his rights to the “Greensboro Gun Show” to the Greensboro Coliseum.
So where is the copy of the signed agreement? How can the city admit to having copies of the drafts of the agreement but not the signed agreement?
The same is true of other documents that Robert received in response to his public records request. Robert received a draft of an email from Coliseum Director Matt Brown to “Mayor Vaughan and Members of the City Council, City Manager David Parrish.”
The document has “DRAFT” at the top and is dated Dec. 15, 2020.
It is headed, “Re: Purchase of the Rights to the Greensboro Gun Show.”
If this draft of an email from Brown to Vaughan, Parrish and the City Council exists where is the actual email and why wasn’t that released.
The draft email states that the agreement to purchase the rights to the “Greensboro Gun Show” was completed in November 2020, which again raises the question, why was Robert sent a draft and not the signed agreement.
It also raises the question of why the public records request made by Robert noted in his lawsuit requesting “all communications and documentation having to do with the gun show between Coliseum Director Matt Brown city staff and council members” was not fulfilled.
Clearly this draft of an email meets the description of documents in Robert’s public records request.
Robert states in his press release that he plans to move forward with his lawsuit over the failure of the city to follow the state public records statutes, and it appears that with this release of documents the city has given Robert more ammunition.
The City of Greensboro is a One Party State, and so it behaves like one.
Glad you know it
A big thank you to Mr. Robert’ for unearthing these documents. They show, once again, what happens behind the curtain of Greensboro politics.
Please vote for new representatives across the city and county, and choose those that have a moral backbone and can make our City and County better for everyone, particularly those of us who accept our laws and Constitution as they are, rather than figuring how to get around them.
Good job Mr. next Mayor Roberts. Just in time for the election. I really hope a lot of people read this article. Hey nancy looks like the chickens are coming home to roost for you and Matt. In case people in Greensboro don’t know Matt Brown makes more than the governor of NC and almost as much as the president of the US. How stupid can this country get.
John, I’ve seen these records and had the same question about the memo to the council about the purchase of the gun show. Was the council ever briefed on this? If so, in what manner (because best I can tell, it wasn’t public). And if not, what do members think about this?
Margaret, it’s wonderful to hear from you.
I’d love to know how this was communicated to council members back in 2020/21 — because as far as I can tell, it wasn’t in any manner that the public could see. The public records cache that Eric Robert received contains lots of versions of draft memos to council members about the gun show purchase, but best I can tell, there’s not a version that made its way into council members’ hands. If members didn’t know, that’s a huge story. If members did know, how did they learn about it and why didn’t the public find out?
This really needs to be looked into further. You know that most of the local press will not dig into this, or if something become public they will spin it a different direction to favor the City of Greensboro.
Vote please ! Vote for Eric Robert for mayor.
Mandate Mayor spends tax dollars so citizens can’t access legal firearms to protect themselves in the middle of the deadliest years Greensboro has ever had. Almost half a million dollars to disenfranchise and leave vulnerable a population that Mandate Mayor will not fully fund or staff the police force for or even allow legal and popular gun shows to be discussed. Matt Brown is a highly paid stooge that has managed the money losing Coliseum complex for way too long without dividends and is now revealed as a political hack just like Madate Mayor and her duplicitous ways.
Does this mean no local gun show until 2026?
There are plenty of other venues nearby.
How many kids could they bus to the Civil Rights Museum with that $400,000?
Tribal politics a la Sedalia.
Maybe we should go protest outside Matt brown’s house
Has there been any contact with Mr. Sorrell? To get his comments.
I tried many times, and he never returned any calls or emails…Pretty clear they also bought his silence.
From the Document labeled:
“THIS IS A CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION
DRAFT PURCHASE AGREEMENT”…
“SORRELL” agrees to withhold any public notification or confirmation to any current or regular “GREENSBORO GUN SHOW” Booth Vendor or registrant or “GREENSBORO GUN SHOW” patrons regarding the cancellation of the tentatively scheduled January 23-24, 2021 and August 28-29, 2021 “GREENSBORO GUN SHOW(S)” until thirty (30) days before the tentatively scheduled dates or specifically not before December 23, 2020 and July 28, 2021.
Virtue Signaling in all of its rich and verdant, pungent splendor. Hope you folks are proud of yourselves covertly interfering with completely legal enterprise. Was it really worth $200K to the taxpayers? We’ll see.