Local News

Taylortown Council Refuses to Censure Mayor

Posted March 27, 2007
Updated March 28, 2007

— The fireworks flew Tuesday night as a town’s mayor squared off with a council member who called for his resignation.

Mayor Ulysses S.G. Barrett Jr. has been charged with three misdemeanors, including benefiting from a public contract as a public official. He was arrested in February, but is still in office.

During Tuesday’s Taylortown council meeting, there was more heated debate about the circumstances surrounding Barrett, who has held the post of mayor for more than a decade.

“Step down as mayor until these issues have been resolved,” council member Jessee Fuller said to Barrett.

Barrett said he has never overstepped the bounds of his office, and the board, as a whole, agreed. They voted 3-1 to keep him in office, and they also approved a move that would let the town foot his legal bills.

The mayor's legal troubles began because he was hired to refurbish a house that the town owns. The estimated cost of the work done was more than $29,000.

The residence will be used for after-school programs. Some Barrett supporters said hiring him to do the renovation was much cheaper than hiring a contractor.

“He tore all these floors out,” said council member Lonnie Jones. “He remodeled the whole thing.”

Many people who live in the town of 900 told WRAL they still support their mayor.

“That's a whole bunch of mess, really,” one said. “I'm not gong to go into no details, but trust me, I'm not going to follow anybody or work with anybody that's crooked.”

The charges against the mayor came after an eight-month investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation. If convicted, Barrett would no longer be eligible to hold public office in North Carolina.


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  • BR549-ssdd Mar 28, 2007

    An honest politician is like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny---THERS NO SUCH THING!!!!

  • Censor victim Mar 28, 2007

    The mayor was warned about illegal contracts years ago, the documentation has been shown on this site to prove it. For him or the council to claim ignorance of the law is laughable. This is an extended family attempting to masquerade as a legitimate government. Their power to tax should be revoked as they are obviously not competent or honest enough to be trusted with other peoples money

  • Censor victim Mar 28, 2007

    This is a fundamental difference between whites and blacks. If he was white and in a white community, he would have been forced to step aside until the matter was settled. Examples-Marion Barry, Ray Nagin, William Jefferson. Many will call this a racist response, so be it. The firing of the police chief and the trumped up reasons were simply a smoke screen by the mayor. If a black chief had been fired by an all white mayor and council all heck would have broken loose.

  • Panther Mar 28, 2007

    This case has had racial overtones from the beginning. The mayor, who is black, fired the chief of police for reveling illegal practices that the mayor has been engaged in.
    The mayor should step down and prepare his defense, as the trial nears. I have no doubt that he will be found guilty and most likely be given a slap on the wrist.

  • methinks Mar 28, 2007

    get rid of all of them. The council hired the mayor for a private job. They all should go.

  • superman Mar 28, 2007

    How close are they to Durham-- keep him in office and pay his legal bills. They need to get serious.

  • hollywood Mar 28, 2007

    Why is he still in office?

  • ridgerunner Mar 28, 2007

    Perhaps they think a crook they know is better than one they don't.

  • hollywood Mar 28, 2007

    He needs to go!

  • DEPUTY Mar 28, 2007