WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Velda Jones-Potter: You gotta do more than just appear on your husband's public access TV show!

Wilmington's Mayor Dennis Williams sacked Velda Jones-Potter as his chief strategy adviser in an attempt to extricate his administration from the noxious cloud of apparent nepotism shown towards the Potters with taxpayer-subsidized police officers, ambulance workers, & public works staffers at a hip-hop concert organized by her son.

But she ain't going quietly. Interviewed on her husband, State Representative Charles Potter's leased-access, cable TV show (Don't you just love it how it's always All in the Family?), Velda Potter-Jones said neither she nor organizers of the Foxtail Fest ASKED for the 20 cops who provided security. But she also offered a convoluted explanation about police putting Foxtail in an impossible position with regard to volunteer officers. (It didn't help that other events were going on the same day.)

Velda Jones-Potter insists the organizers of the hip-hop event were open to compensating 20 private security guards to comply with city regulations, but she professed that police were "uncomfortable" with such an arrangement. Jones-Potter further insists Foxtail Fest organizers honestly believed they had settled on an arrangement to provide 15 security guards while the city assigned five cops.

Then, Jones-Potter professes utter amazement that "we learned from the paper" that 20 cops provided security.

Jones-Potter concedes she showed up for city meetings regarding Foxtail, but showed up as a private citizen, not in her official capacity as Mayor Williams' strategy adviser.

About all of the above, huh?

(1). Saying neither she nor Foxtail organizers requested the 20 cops who ended up at the hip-hop concert isn't the same as saying the Wilmington Police Department had public safety concerns for an event which COULD have drawn thousands, and assigned 20 cops just as a precaution. Better safe than sorry. Perhaps the compensation question wasn't fully settled. Perhaps the organizers truly didn't realize other events had to pay their own way. Perhaps they figured the highly placed Jones-Potter would handle things.

(2). Even by Jones-Potter's account, the city provided five officers. That doesn't address the compensation question.

(3). The part about Jones-Potter attending city meetings about the festival in her capacity as a "private citizen", not a top gun for the mayor, stretches credulity. Whether or not she was attending those meetings on her personal time, the fact is she was the mayor's "chief strategy adviser". That sounds like a 24/7 job, not something you can carve into public and private time. And let's not forget Jones-Potter's son, Brandon, was the organizer.

Velda Jones-Potter could've just faded into the sunset. With her appearance on her husband's cable TV show, clearly she won't.

But just as she avoided all invitations to debate her primary opponent for state Treasurer - Chip Flowers - obfuscating at every opporrunity, now Jones-Potter will only appear on "friendly media". (Couldn't get more friendly than on your husband's accessed show, could it?)

Unfortunately, Jones-Potter has only raised more questions than answered them. Absolutely no discussion of other public services provided: Ambulance employees and public works staffers.

Does she have any interest in clearing the air? I doubt she will, but Jones-Potter needs to agree to a no-holds-barred interview on one of our talk-shows; before a couple of NEWS-JOURNAL reporters and/or The NEWS-JOURNAL editorial board, etc. (I'd volunteer, but my interview segments are hardly long enough to do this justice!) Then, she needs to answer questions from Council members... as long as it takes. Will she?

Wilmington Police Department brass needs to appear as well. So many unanswered questions:

Did the W.P.D. pressure Foxtail organizers to accept 20 cops? Were Foxtail organizers "fully prepared" to compensate 20 private security guards to comply with city's rules & regs? (Jones-Potter's assertion) As a compromise, did Foxtail and the W.P.D. reach a consensus of 15 private security guards and five city cops? If so, what happened when 20 officers showed up? Was there agreement on compensation? Who directed that such security be provided on the backs of city taxpayers? When Foxtail organizers indicated ticket sales dipped below the projected turnout, why didn't the W.P.D. agree to scale back?

Hello, Williams Administration: Got some more shootings in the city.

You can hear my interview with Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory...

Audio Here

Posted at 6:50am on September 23, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Sep 23, 2013 8:15am
Glad I don't live in the city with this "flying circus". The one in the county is more than enough circus for me.

Mon, Sep 23, 2013 9:46am
There is no one less credible than Charles Potter. Well, except his wife.

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