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James 'Smuggie' Mitchell promises no conflict of interest on council: 'People got to trust me'

On Flashpoint, Mitchell lays out his plan to reduce ties to construction company.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A familiar face to Charlotte voters is looking to return to the government center in Uptown after a conflict of interest forced his sudden resignation from city council last year.

"Well, people got to trust me. You look over my years, I've always been a man of my word," James "Smuggie" Mitchell, a former councilmember, said.

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In January 2021, Mitchell resigned from Charlotte City Council after taking a job as president with RJ Leeper Construction, a firm that does work for the city.  Since then, Mitchell has stepped down as president and is once again running for an at-large seat on council.

But Mitchell still owns 25% of the company, more than 15% allowed under North Carolina law.  If elected, Mitchell said he will sell the remaining stock to get him under the threshold.

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"I'll make sure I will comply with the state law and sales shares of my stock 25%. So I can get below the 10% threshold is required from the state of North Carolina," he said.

The primary is May 17.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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