Durham Council does not vote to censure fellow council member under investigation

Josh Chapin Image
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Tensions rising within Durham City Council
Durham City Council did not take a vote Monday on censuring a fellow council member in the wake of extortion allegations.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham City Council did not take a vote Monday on censuring a fellow council member in the wake of extortion allegations.

Mayor Elaine O'Neal and council are working to move forward as a law enforcement investigation plays out.

At the center of it all are allegations of extortion involving Durham council member Monique Holsey-Hyman.

She's accused of saying she'd sign off on a real estate project in exchange for a contribution to her campaign.

She's also accused of improperly involving city staff in campaign work.

Holsey-Hyman, who has denied any wrongdoing, didn't comment on the investigation Monday and voted along with her peers on other city business.

"Durham has been faced with daunting challenges before and we as a community are well-able and equipped to meet those that stand in front of us," said Mayor O'Neal.

Mayor Pro-tem Mark-Anthony Middleton was the only other council member to address the issue.

"Let us get back to work, let us move forward to bind up the wounds of our city and get to work," he said.

One of the steps recommended to move forward was to censure Holsey-Hyman, but no vote was taken on that Monday.

Other recommendations included taking no action and referring it to law enforcement, which is what has been done.

O'Neal said she won't be making any more public comments while the investigation is ongoing.

The allegations have led to anger and resentment and in some reports to near brawls among council members in the last ten days.

"I would ask all of Durham residents to stay focused on the issues that face us," O'Neal said.