Friday, December 23, 2011

Mayor Foxx: Aide's Behavior 'Highly Inappropriate'

In a shocking turn of events Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx today apologized to leaders of Charlotte's International Cabinet after his special assistant warned them to "please expect hell" with future budget requests if they failed to upgrade him to first-class on a November trip to China.

Even more shocking is that the $72,000 aide is still employed.

From The Charlotte Observer:

In a letter today to Sharon Reed, executive director of the International Cabinet, Foxx apologized for an email from aide Tracy Montross. Foxx called Montross's email "highly inappropriate."

"I cannot tell you how disappointed and surprised I was to read its contents," he wrote, "including an implication that the funds supporting the Charlotte International Cabinet would be jeopardized unless a request to reimburse my travel expenses was granted."

Two days after being re-elected, Foxx led an 11-member delegation to China in an effort to broaden the city's economic ties to the country. He and the delegation, including Montross, met with business and political leaders in Beijing, Shanghai and Charlotte's sister city of Baoding.

Email correspondence shows Montross sought the upgrade at least three times since mid-September. The International Cabinet turned it down.

"After considering the past practices and present financial capabilities of the organization and its stewardship of public dollars allocated to the CIC, the executive board unanimously voted NOT to fund the additional (money)," CIC Chair Maha Gingrich wrote Montross in September.

Writing from China, Montross emailed the cabinet to "please expect hell with your presentation to Council on next year's budget."

"There is no reason for (Foxx) to support this expenditure in years to come. His position has not changed but has become more resolute. Thanks for your consideration in advance of our return."

Thursday, a contrite Montross emailed Foxx. "I am incredibly embarrassed by my actions and my amateur approach in communicating with the Charlotte International Cabinet about this matter," she said. "I am equally devastated that my stupid mistake could bring into question your leadership commitment to our community."

Montross declined comment. Foxx could not be reached.

Montross, who earns $72,000 a year, was hired as the mayor's special assistant in the summer of 2010. She replaced Kevin Monroe, who left the city to work for the local host committee putting on the Democratic National Convention.

She had previously worked as a scheduler for Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
In her e-mail to the mayor, Montross said she was the "principal planner" for the China trip.

The mayor's assistant works for the mayor, but technically reports to City Manager Curt Walton.

Walton said in an e-mail to the Observer Friday that "Tracy's employment status is unchanged. Any performance matters with any employee are discussed privately with the employee, not in the media. I will say, however, that Tracy is an extremely talented employee that I look forward to working with for years to come."

Montross, who earns $72,000 a year, was hired as the mayor's special assistant in the summer of 2010. She replaced Kevin Monroe, who left the city to work for the Democratic National Convention Committee. Montross works closely with the mayor, advising him on some policy issues and at times working with the media.

She had previously worked as a scheduler for Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
In her email to the mayor, Montross said she was the "principal planner" for the China trip.

City of Charlotte policy calls for employees to be reimbursed only for economy-class tickets. Emails from CIC board members said the group didn't have a specific travel policy.

"Outside agencies are not bound by our policies," Walton said, "although I suspect they are similar."

Charlotte City Council member Michael Barnes, Foxx's fellow Democrat, said the email was "completely inappropriate."

"I don't expect staff to be threatening anyone over their budgets," Barnes said.

The Charlotte Observer story is

Cedar's Take:

Is this the perception of our City County Government we want to share with the world in less than 12 months? If this is what we learn months after the fact what kinds of things are we not learning? What kind of shady dealing is his honor Mayor Foxx doing behind closed doors?

Why does our appointed by City Council City Manger offer nothing more than a flippant response to something that speaks volumes as to how our City County Government is being run.

Keep in mind that this is not the first time a member of our City County Government has been cornered after a shake down attempt.

We as citizens would like to think Charlotte is above the politics of Detroit or Chicago. But there is a former Governor in the "Windy City" who is looking at serious jail time because he to thought he was entitled to a better seat on the Obama bus.

Note: The above story is from the Charlotte Observer as noted. Cedar Posts has posted the entire story because the Observer has removed the comment option from their on-line edition, thereby removing the countless calls for Mayor Foxx's resignation and the firing of Tracy Montross.

Update December 25, 2011

Investigation sought of threat by Foxx aide

Councilman Andy Dulin wants to know if there was 'Quid Pro Quo' demand involved.

A Charlotte city councilman is demanding an investigation into whether a veiled threat of a budget cut might have prompted a city-funded group to change its stance on travel reimbursements for Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Councilman Andy Dulin asked for the investigation in an email sent on Christmas Eve to the mayor, other city council members and city officials. He suggested the city attorney or an outside investigator handle the matter.

The full Charlotte Observer story is here.


Anonymous said...

If this woman isn't fired I'll be surprised. If Mayor Foxx thinks this is going away he is dead wrong.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely she should be fired.

Did this attitude of hers just show itself for the first time?

You can bet not.

Present behavior is indicative of future behavior.

If you don't think she hasn't payed this entitled card before, I have some swampland to sell you.

This was not just an "oops"...this showed incredible arrogance and vindictiveness.....maybe she should go work for Rodney?

And Curt Walton wouldn't jeopardize his job by JUST ONCE standing on the side of what is right, what is ethical, what is right, would he?

If he just one time was honest with the public and called out corruption, it would be amazing.

Anonymous said...

If she was the least bit honorable, she would resign.

Anonymous said...

she only said she was embarassed for getting caught.

then Walton said he looked forward to working with her for years.

bullying, threatening, shakedowns for money to go to the politicians of this town is par for the course now and they will keep it up until people call for their prosecutions.

maybe Occupy Charlotte could get focused on something within reach and look hard at Charlotte politicians and the CMPD actions. There's plenty of information and they could protest that and demand answers and investigations until it's all out.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting but just about everything Foxx, the City Council and Walton does is atrocious!

Let me add the whacko leftist rag Charlotte Observer to that disgusting as well....they LOVE protecting corruption!

Anonymous said...

Cedar I feel your fustration, but even the Republicans Dulin and Cooksey will sweep this under the rug to the rest of Charlotte City Council this is a non event.

The best hope would be that the Department of Justice or SBI look into Mayor Foxx and the City of Charlotte.

And our hopes may be answered.

Anonymous said...

no suprise here. she wont be fired and this will go away.

Anyone that has been paying attention to "fast and furious" knows that the us justice department has strong ties to our city govt and will not be looking to call anyone out.

possibly if Holder steps down, something may be done in about 2-2.5 years. until then, not happening.

Anonymous said...

Really, Curt Walton did not take a stand and condemn what she did? Who is surprised by that, covering his own ass once again, the little bug. And once again he will probably get a raise for protecting his benefactors, and not the spoke he supposedly represents and who pay his undeserved salary.

It sounds like he was ready to give her a key to the freaking city, a "prize" for her incredibly poor judgement and unethical behavior. His statement was just as arrogant as her behavior.

Foxx, Walton, Monroe, Jones....all slippery, slimy, back door politicians furthering their own agendas at the public's expense once again.

And her behavior was not merely inappropriate, it was criminal.

That an inexperienced yes person could do something so incredibly over the line and not only keep her job, but be praised by the City Manager says VOLUMES about Charlotte.

She has taken a page from the Blagojevich Playbook for sure.....and she will only get stealthier and sneakier about it if she is not fired.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the photo of her standing on the Great Walk Of China??

I didn't know we were funding a sight seeing tour.

I thought the trip was about BUSINESS.

Let's see what our return is on this Boondoggle.

How much did this trip cost for everyone that went? And we're all the people that went necessary, vital to their "mission".

What a colossal waste of money.

And just another quid pro quo.

Corrupt government employee, no surprise there.

Anonymous said...

Great WALL, sorry for typo.

Anonymous said...

Foxx paid for his own upgrade, and when the CIC offered to pay for it he refused and went publice with the entire mess what is the big deal?

Cedar are you and Andy Dulin of the same damaged DNA?

Anonymous said...

Well, the big deal could be that his Personal Assistant directly threatened to cut off funds if they did not get what they wanted.... Unethical if not criminal...., asking for a bribe for funds?
Wrong on so many levels!