Over the past week, the Greensboro News & Record has run a story and editorial on the mystery surrounding the delay of the demolition of the old Guilford County jail in downtown Greensboro.

When Guilford County Facilities and Property Management Director Eric Hilton gave a presentation to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners at the beginning of the year, he stated that in a matter of weeks the commissioners would start to see the building come down.

That hasn’t happened and now the demolition has been postponed indefinitely and no one is saying why.

That spawned a Tuesday, Feb 21 editorial in the News & Record that criticized the commissioners and other county officials for not being transparent.

The editorial reads, “The point is, when public officials don’t level with the public, rumors will fill the void.  So will distrust.  The county is spending $23.9 million in taxpayer money on this project, up from an original price tag of $12 million.  But no one will even explain why they won’t say it’s taking longer.”

Actually, at least when speaking with the Rhino Times, several county commissioners have been very open as to why they are keeping silent on the matter: They’ve been informed by the county attorney in closed session not to say anything at all about the situation because doing so could result in a lawsuit against Guilford County.

The Board of Commissioners recently went into a closed session during an afternoon work session for the stated purpose of consulting with the county attorney.  The matter and the legal ramifications were discussed in the meeting and at that time the attorney warned the board to remain silent.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said on Wednesday, Feb. 22, “The attorney said we can’t make any comments on it at all.”

When Alston was asked directly if the old jail was the location where the space aliens that the US government has been shooting down were emanating from, Alston said, “Obviously someone has been talking – but I’m sworn to secrecy.”