Editor’s note: In June and July, investigative journalist Roger McCredie filed three reports on developments surrounding a petition within the state Democratic Party to remove its chair, Asheville’s Patsy Keever, from office for multiple violations of the party’s Plan of Organization (POO). The first article, “Black Democrats Demand Removal of Chairman Patsy Keever” (June 29) stated the facts as they were known at that time and had been reported by other news sources. The Tribune then received complaints from members of the party’s African-American Caucus, who stated they are the duly elected officers thereof and called the petition “a hoax.” A second article, “Head of African-American Caucus Calls Petition to Remove Keever a Hoax” (July 13) contained extensive quotes from that group. The third report, “Local Democrats Stay Mum on Keever Removal Peititon Flap” (July 20) noted the failure of local party officials to comment on a matter that had its origins in central and eastern North Carolina.
The Tribune and the reporter then received nearly 40 e-mails, mostly from Norman Smith, a Washington, DC – based consultant who acts as communications manager for the petitioners, complaining that the Tribune’s coverage — particularly the second article — was poorly researched, biased, and even defamatory regarding them. In the interest of fairness and balance, the Tribune invited the petitioners to submit this guest editorial setting forth their position. Their response is reproduced below with no editing whatsoever, exactly as it was received. The authors are Smith and the three petitioners: Perry Graves of Reidsville, Vaeria Conyers of Goldsboro, and Chenita Johnson of Winston-Salem.
The articles themselves may be viewed at the Tribune’s website. The complete text of the petition is available at:
The African American Caucus (AAC) of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) Auxiliary (AAC-NCDP) are the Petitioners of the legitimate Verified Petition requesting removal of NCDP chairperson Patsy Keever (Aycock) for proper cause.
Our Petition was properly filed with the North Carolina Democratic Party(NCDP)on June 8, 2016 in accordance with the NCDP By-Laws.
The Asheville Tribune published three articles regarding this Petition. In each article there were factual errors, and the reporter did not accurately represent the Petitioners and the Petition content.
As Petitioners, we seek Truth and Justice under Law, and to correct the published inaccuracies, factual errors, and misrepresentations in the Asheville Tribune’s three articles.
The reporter published unverified facts and false statements from Willie Fleming and Linda Wilkinson-Daniels, both of whome had been dismissed in January and February 2015 respectively from the African American Caucus Auxiliary because of their Malfeasance and other wrongful and fraudulent conduct and behavior. These individuals working in concert with NCDP chair Patsy Keever(Aycock), Dave Miranda and others contrived a false framework scheme of circumstances to avoid a hearing before the Council of Review.
The Asheville Tribune failed to conduct a thorough investigation before publishing negative characterizations of the peitioners using such langauge as, “instigators”, “Rogue”, “using dirty tricks” “Bogus”, “bogus complaint”, “Fake letterhead”, “forged letterhead” “invalid petition and complaint” and “savage”.
The Asheville Tribune set the narrative with their characterization that the Petitioners, “Attempt to oust Keever is a hoax”. This painted a degrading, demoralizing and libelous characterization of the Petitioners. This narrative, implied and stated the Petitioners committed wrongful and criminal acts. And the Petitioners did not.
An investigation by the reporter would have revealed the verified Petition to remove the NCDP chair was legitimate, not “bogus”, “fake” or “invalid”.
It would have revealed that there was no “forged letterhead”, and the Verified Petition was properly filed as required by NCDP By-Laws provisions; the Petition was not “printed on forged letterhead”; the Petitioners were not “savage” or “disgruntle” individuals and they did not “forge” a Council of Review Committee (COR) Letterhead.
The key reasons contained in the Petition that were not published, are:
• NCDP chair Patsy Keever (Aycock) failed/refused to perform her required duties and comply with the NCDP By-Laws sections 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.8 (7), 9.01, 9.06 and 10.01, 10.02.
• The By-Laws does provide Authority for the filing of the Petition, and they were set forth in full details in the Petitions attached evidentiary Exhibit 1 “Points and Authority.”
• The content and context of the Petition’s 28 plus charges for removing Patsy Keever(Aycock), and the effect her divide and concur acts and conduct had on the African American Caucus community in 53 of the 100 North Carolina counties.
• The NCDP Chair in concert with others, directly/indirectly connived to discriminate and disenfranchise the African American Caucus voters, and caused an unnecessary disruption in AAC-NCDP Auxiliary operations; she misdirected the County and District chairpersons to systematically obstruct African Americans voters from organizing county Precincts, becoming Precinct chairs, County chairs and officers, and becoming delegates to the District, State and DNC Conventions. She also restricted and/or withheld proper notices to them.
• The petition states that NCDP Chair Caused an unwarranted disruption of the NCDP principal judicial body, the Council of Review Committee (COR). Such disruption disabled truth and justice under law fair decisions, and enabled unfair and bias decisions to be rendered, such as, in the Hardee, Flick and COR cases in opposition to the required By-Laws provisions.
• The “Chairperson Patsy wrongfully directed the 13 Congressional District Chairs to conduct the District conventions. The 13 NC District Conventions wrongfully held elections for delegates and Council of Review Committee members ARE CONSIDERED VOID from the beginning (AB INITIO