A North Carolina councilman has been exposed by a secret recording released Friday that reveals Fayetteville City Councilman Tyrone Williams attempted to blackmail a construction company. Williams told the project manager for the Prince Charles redevelopment that an issue with the property's title would go away if they paid him $15,000.
The recording comes from a 45-minute long private meeting on December 21 between Williams and the project manager Jordan Jones. Following the meeting, Jones gave a taped recording of the meeting to law enforcement which triggered an FBI investigation. Lonnie Player, an attorney for Jones gave a copy of the recording to local media "in the spirit of transparency and so no one need continue to speculate what happened here."
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Jones is a partner with Prince Charles Holdings investor group and was contacted by a businessman named T.J. Jenkins on December 12. Jenkins informed Jones of a "cloud on the title" for the hotel project which was waiting to proceed. He invited Jones to a meeting with Williams at his office downtown.
Jenkins can be heard saying on the recording, "So what we were saying was we basically come to the table as quietly and figure out how we can get this resolved. The thing I don’t want is anybody public getting wind of it, and they are like, 'Whoa! What have we?' And then it opens up a can of worms. And you got taxpayers who are saying, 'Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that?' And there are questions."
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Jenkins urged Jones to keep the matter private and Williams agreed. "Want to make sure you two was here, so we can make sure we do this as quiet as possible," Jenkins continued. "No public image. No public knowledge. So that way … you know you line up for scrutiny when you start doing that."
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