Second 'Bladdergate' vote yields vice chair

Wake County Commission

December 9, 2009 6:16:48 PM PST
The political tug of war over the leadership of the Wake County Board of Commissioners continued Wednesday with a dramatic vote over the phone from former chairman Harold Webb.

Webb, who's recovering from a stroke, broke the tie over selecting a vice chairman.

The vote came a day after a marathon 12-hour meeting that lasted into the early hours of Tuesday morning that's come to be known as 'bladdergate.'

In the first 90 minutes of that meeting, Republicans used an unexcused bathroom break by Betty Lou Ward to vote in their own chairman Tony Gurley.

The move has led to allegations of dirty politics by Ward and others, but Gurley told the meeting Wednesday that he believes the potty trip was a political move by Ward.

"For those people who believe I was elected because Ms. Ward had to go to the bathroom, just keep in mind that the first item on the agenda today was Ms. Ward asking for reconsideration and the only way she thought she could justify that was the fact that she had gone to the bathroom and that would open up for a vote a day later when they'd have Mr. Ward here, Mr. Webb here, so there's maneuvering on both sides but it won't affect what goes on from here forward," he said.

But Ward says the debate may not be over.

"I think by virtue of the fact that he did not let my motion go forward is unfortunate because he's wrong according to Robert's Rules of Order. I have talked to a number of attorneys," said Ward. "I think there are some people with plans to take it to court, so we shall see."

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