Local News

WRAL Lawsuit

Posted January 31, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— An alleged discussion about a proposed arena has landed Raleigh's mayor and four city councilmen on the defensive side of a lawsuit. It appeared Friday that one of those council members, who has been the subject of other controversy in recent months, has now reportedly been less than cooperative with the lawsuit.

A former council member filed a lawsuit first, alleging that the four council members had held what constituted a council meeting in a private setting. That suit was dropped Friday when the men said they wouldn't meet in that manner again. But a second lawsuit filed by WRAL-TV5 and other media outlets still stands.

At issue is whether or not official city business was discussed at the informal gathering held at Councilman Paul Coble's home on January 19.

Councilman John Odom, who attended the gathering, told WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertshe thinks this issue should be put to rest.

An attempt to serve civil papers on Councilman Kieran Shanahan was apparently not successful. Carlyle Poindexter, who owns the company hired to serve the papers claims Shanahan used profanity and avoided accepting the summons for several days.

Shanahan and a family friend say the company did not represent itself professionally and that Shanahan never used profanity. He says he feared for the safety of his family and suspects a conspiracy.

Councilman Shanahan also said he had received threatening telephone calls a few days before the server arrived. Police, he said, advised him not to respond any strangers who came to his door.

Shanahan was charged last year on two counts of assault fin connection with an altercation with two teens in his neighborhood.