SBI finds no evidence Durham councilmember extorted developer for campaign contribution

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023 10:05PM
SBI finds no evidence Durham councilmember extorted developer
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No charges will be filed against Durham City Council Member Monique Holsey-Hyman after SBI investigation finds no evidence of a crime.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham City Councilwoman accused of extortion will not face criminal charges.

Durham County District Attorney's Office announced the decision Tuesday after reviewing a State Bureau of Investigation report into the allegations.

Monique Holsey-Hyman is the councilmember accused of trading her support of a development project for campaign donations.

WATCH: Durham councilmember responds after SBI clears her from wrongdoing

An SBI agent conducted interviews with the Durham Mayor, City Council members and staff. Every person the agent asked to interview consented and cooperated.

The agent said Holsey-Hyman provided access to text messages and documentation of conversations she had with the developer that accused her of extortion.

However, the developer avoided the agent. SBI said the developer avoided calls from the agent and never returned messages. The developer eventually agreed to an interview but ultimately stood up the agent. The developer then retained an attorney and agreed to provide a written statement. That statement was never submitted.

SEE ALSO | 'Extremely alarming.' Emails shed light on Durham city leaders' conversations over extortion claims

The development issue eventually came up for a vote and passed without the support of Holsey-Hyman. After this, the developer still declined to cooperate with the SBI investigation.

The SBI agent recommended there was no probable cause to pursue criminal charges against Holsey-Hyman.

"In fact, the SBI was unable to discover any credible allegation against her at all. There is no evidence that she solicited a campaign contribution...or that she attempted to extort exchange for her vote," District Attorney Satana Deberry said in a statement.

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