Hope Mills commissioner wants ban from buildings lifted
Posted July 8, 2013
Hope Mills, N.C. — A Hope Mills town commissioner beleaguered by complaints from town employees is asking a judge to permanently lift a ban barring him from town buildings.
Last month, commissioners voted 4-1 to ban Tonzie Collins from having any contact with town employees or entering non-public areas of town buildings. Collins, who was the only dissenting vote, is the subject of 14 formal complaints from town employees, dating back to 2006, accusing him of sexual harassment and intimidation.
He's suing the town over the ban, which, his attorney says, prevents him from doing his job.
On Monday, Judge Mary Ann Tally granted both sides more time to resolve the matter outside of court.
Collins' attorney Coy Brewer said he's not sure whether an agreement can be worked out.
"It depends on decision makers beyond my control," he said.
Town attorney T.C. Morphis defended commissioners' actions.
"The town board feels it acted lawfully and, given the circumstances, it was completely appropriate," Morphis said.