Local News

Drivers in 'Ticketgate' wreck sue each other

Posted June 25, 2008

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— Two drivers involved in an October wreck that spawned a political brouhaha have filed lawsuits against each other over the incident.

Diana Knight and Jamell Jones have accused each other of negligence in the Oct. 25 wreck at the intersection of Stoney Point and Gillis Hill roads.

A Fayetteville police officer, after receiving conflicting reports from witnesses, initially cited Knight for running a red light. Knight's husband, a former deputy garrison commander at Fort Bragg, called Mayor Tony Chavonne that evening to complain, and police voided the ticket shortly after Chavonne and City Manager Dale Iman visited Knight in the hospital.

Police later charged Jones with running the red light and causing the wreck.

The case sparked an outcry from Fayetteville residents, who dubbed the incident "Ticketgate" and called for an investigation into what they said was favorable treatment for Knight.

The City Council rebuked Chavonne for intervening in the police investigation, and he apologized for the perception of favoritism his actions created.

The council also voted to reinstate the ticket against Knight but later reversed the decision after Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis threatened to pursue obstruction of justice charges against council members.

Grannis then assembled his own team of investigators to review the case and decided not to charge anyone in the wreck, saying witness accounts were too contradictory.


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  • TheAdmiral Jun 26, 2008

    Throw both of them in jail as well as the mayor then have a good old fashioned jury trial.

  • whocares Jun 25, 2008

    The Mayor and City Manager should have both lost their jobs and as for the DA, I think that now this has come to light, Mr. Cooper's office should get involved and see if the DA should be disbarded for threats made against the City Council.

  • wonbyone74 Jun 25, 2008

    if we didnt have so many drivers around here driving so wrecklessly and angrily, this would not have happened anyway...people only care about themselves and dont care of anyone else gets hurt, killed, or gets put in a financial bind becuase of their wreckless driving...

  • airbornemonty Jun 25, 2008

    First thing on the agenda is to get rid of the mayor, the city manager and let us not forget the namby-pamby police chief whose actions embarrassed a lot of good police officers.

  • nodoginthisfight Jun 25, 2008

    The only way to do it in society today, sue the pants off each other and let the lawyers take the first 33%. One more vote for tort reform here.

  • LibertarianTechie Jun 25, 2008

    This is crazy. How does a former garrison commander still have influence? Something else is going on here that hasn't been mentioned.

  • Phrostbite Jun 25, 2008

    Jones got a raw deal out of this. Clearly favoritism by the Mayor, City Manager, & District Attorney. The council should've voted to fire the Manager on the spot & complained to the State AG about the DA's threat against them. Corruption at it's best, gotta love it.


    Not to mention salaries of judges, bailiffs, court stenographers, etc. Taxpayer money, FragmentFour. Now who didn't pay attention in civics class! :-)

    Thanks for the comment.

  • MrQuestions Jun 25, 2008

    A duel is the obvious answer! I say spoiled salmon at 3 paces.

  • NC-writer Jun 25, 2008

    Not to mention salaries of judges, bailiffs, court stenographers, etc. Taxpayer money, FragmentFour. Now who didn't pay attention in civics class! :-)