Sunday, September 24, 2023

Podcast July 6 – Kerr Ave developer takes man’s house, plus, what’s going on with New Hanover schools?

We start this week with a bizarre and potentially disturbing story: a Wilmington man tried to sell part of his property to the developer of the Kerr Station Lofts.

As the story developed, the man would be sued for disagreeing with a contract that he said he never agreed to. The courts ultimately allowed the developer’s attorney to sign for the man on rezoning applications and, later, allowed that attorney to sign the man’s house away. Before the story was over, the courts issued a rare ‘Gatekeeper’ order, which froze the man’s right to appeal in court.

At the end of the day, the man lost his home and ended up owing tens of thousands of dollars. The City of Wilmington said they saw no issues with how the developer acquired the land, and attorneys for the developer — and the developer himself — said everything that happened in court was perfectly legal.

We take a deep dive into how this happened.

Up next: the New Hanover County Schools (NHCS)  district has seen an unsettling and rapidly developing series of stories over the last two weeks. Starting with a bombshell dropped in court during the hearing of former teacher Michael Earl Kelly, and evolving into the resignation of Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Holliday, and the joint request by District Attorney Ben David and Sheriff Ed McMahon for the State Bureau of Investigation to take over allegations against NHCS for ‘failure to report’ and obstruction of justice.

The Board of Education then agreed to investigate Kelly’s claims that the schools had investigated him and cleared him, without contacting law enforcement.

After speaking with multiple former students, we asked Holliday and the district for comment. They asked us to delay the story until Board Attorney Wayne Bullard could speak to the former students first (clearly a violation of our editorial policy).

Lastly, a sneak peek at an upcoming story, looking into whether an (apparently) obscure state statute might make the City of Wilmington’s short-term rental regulations, which took three years to develop, unlawful. How? And what might the fallout be? We get into it.

If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.

Developer took Wilmington man’s house in court, city and attorneys say it’s perfectly legal

Assistant DA: New Hanover Schools investigated teacher’s sexual misconduct, didn’t report to law enforcement

New Hanover Board of Education abruptly changes position, will conduct internal investigation

Dr. Rick Holliday announces retirement amid investigation into administration and staff

DA, Sheriff request SBI investigation into New Hanover Schools, hours after Deputy Superintendent retires

Former students, parents say they reported teacher misconduct to Holliday, board members, up to 20 years ago

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