Charlotte City Council Calls Off Partnership With Representative's Nonprofit

Jul 28, 2020

The city of Charlotte will not partner with a council member's nonprofit for a jobs-training program. 

Credit NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Several City Council members Monday raised questions about a possible conflict of interest with the plan, which called for the city to give District 6 representative Tariq Bokhari’s organization Carolina Fintech Hub $1.5 million in federal coronavirus relief money Charlotte received. The money would have been used to train about 90 people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Council voted 9 to 1 in favor of seeking a new partner for the program instead. District 2 council member Malcolm Graham voted in favor of the move.

“I think the job for us tonight is to protect the credibility of the council, now and future councils by the perception that a conflict can exist," Graham said. 

Bokhari, who said there was no conflict of interest and that he did nothing wrong, was excused from the vote.

In an email obtained by the Charlotte Observer, city attorney Patrick Baker said the original proposal made by staff broke no laws and that Bokhari would not have gotten any income or commission directly. Council also agreed to have the Budget and Effectiveness Committee review the city’s code of ethics and ordinances governing conflict of interest. 

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