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.