Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The e-mail behind Jones' apology

Here is the e-mail exchange from County Manager Harry Jones to Bank of America's Betty Turner that came under scrutiny this week:

(We've put in bold the text section of each e-mail, obtained through an Observer open records request.)


From: Turner, Betty M [mailto:betty.m.turner@bankofamerica.com] Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:20 AMTo: Jones, Harry L.

Subject: Re: Tonight's Meeting - DSS Comments

I am embarrassed by his comments, his tone and doing this. I am tracking it down. I don't know him - I have alerted charles. Will be back to you

From: Jones, Harry L. To: Turner, Betty M Sent: Tue Jul 14 09:11:19 2009

Subject: FW: Tonight's Meeting - DSS Comments

See the email below: Do you know Harry Lomax

Harry L. Jones, Sr.
County Manager
Mecklenburg County
704-336-2087 (o)

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.
Greek proverb

From: Jones, Harry L. Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 8:56 PMTo: Diorio, Dena R.

Subject: Fw: Tonight's Meeting - DSS Comments


From: Harry Lomax To: Roberts, Jennifer; Cogdell, Harold; Murrey, Daniel B; Bentley, Karen; Leake, Vilma; Cooksey, Neil; Dunlap, George; James, Bill; Wilson, Mary; Diorio, Dena R.; Jones, Harry L. Sent: Tue Jul 07 20:04:37 2009

Subject: Tonight's Meeting - DSS Comments


I was looking forward to addressing the Commission in person tonight as part of the public forum section of the agenda. It was pretty frustrating to sit there for over an hour watching PSA after PSA on how great the DSS is from your

Mecklenburg Matters video. I finally had to leave to go to the store, feed dogs, get prepped for work, etc...you know...real world stuff. That said, I'd like to give send you my prepared comments and hope that I am not you take these to heart as if I were there tonight.

I'd like to express my displeasure with the recent activities involving the DSS. My comments may be premature pending the upcoming audit results, but I still think they are appropriate. Up until recently, I have been generally pleased with how the county government has performed - but for lack of a better term - I feel duped.

Duped that my company and I have donated time and money to this Giving Tree sham which the DSS has chosens to use as their personal petty cash fund.
Duped by the County Management, Finance Department and past/current DSS leadership's lack of controls (not to mention the cronyism involved with the recent hires within the DSS).

And duped by the flippant, hands-off response by some of the commissioners with regard to the audit and the County Manager's subsequent response.
Commissioner Cooksey encouraged me to speak tonight, and between him and Commissioner James, I feel llike they are the only one who are living in the real world here.

Any honest, non-government entity would have audit controls in place for a $176MM, 1200+ employee department. Regardless of the fact that the DSS Leadership and County Manager failed in their duty to implement these controls, the employees who broke the law should still be prosecuted. I hope the County Commission will support a thourough investigation by the DA and make the decision to prosecute if necessary.

What other organizations are being scrutinized a s a result of the DSS issues coming to light? There seems to be a need for a wholesale cleanup of many county agencies, and I think that starts from the top down.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to some answers not only going forward, but also some accountability/repercussions for those who are implicated in this scandal.


Harry Lomax


Jones apologized today for forwarding the e-mail from Lomax, speaking as a citizen, to his employer.

- Doug Miller


Anonymous said...

Did Lomax send the email from his home or work email?

Cedar Posts said...

He sent it from his home email.

But that wouldn't matter to Harry Jones or his goons.

Frankly we are all too busy trying to make ends meet, raise our kids and pay our taxes to pay much attention to how corupt our government has become.

Harry Jones needs to be removed, he's been on the job 10 years and its time to clean house.

He and the likes of Rodney Monroe are not the way we should conduct our government in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

The say and do whatevever you want and when called to task, it becomes "O, I AM SO SORRY ABOUT THAT" excuse. It it time for accountability with our officials. Is this the person that the commisioners want to give a $38,000 bonus? Give me a break. Fire him as he would one of the grunts if they had been caught in this situation.

JAT said...

Doug, Fred anybody --

Is anyone going to ask BAC's Charles Bowman what he did after Betty Turner "alerted" him to the Lomax email? (Assuming he is the "charles" she references.)

Has anyone asked for ALL of Harry Jones' email correspondence between himself, Turner, and Bowman back to, oh, Jan. 1, 2007 -- seeing has this episode is evidence that they seem to form a tight little working group?

And I missed the part where Harry Jones said he had never done this sort of thing before.

Anonymous said...

The city county keeps trying to ignore that 10,000 lb elephant in the living room but the complexities getting worse.

We have a problem Houston.

The Jones deal is just the latest of a long line and we know the newly elected one has a DSS problem being covered up.

Time to take a loss and get the hell out of Dodge before its too late. It will only get worse but we know thats been quietly happening for years now ...

The 2 big homegrown banks are also being stolen right under our noses and nobody says a word.

Cut the guilt complex too. You owe nobody a damn thing. They owe you. Get a backbone.

Anonymous said...

Fire Harry Jones and all of his DSS/BOA Gestapo Goons NOW.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can't believe this has happened and would love to know what other emails have been exchanged between Jones and BofA. I was, frankly, expecting to see an angry rant and/or tirade. Mr. Lomax wrote a thoughtful email that in no way to me steps past the bounds of politeness. What on earth would the BofA employee find embarrassing?

Anonymous said...

I felt it was an eloquent, diplomatically worded email. It was not an embarassing rant... it would be one thing if it was threatening or psychotic or even rude.

Betty- your employees are allowed to have opinions that perhaps differ from the banks. They can even express them on their own timw, on their own communication devices.

Anonymous said...

It is funny how many Southern Whites are losing your minds over Jones's actions and want to now call all Black leadership into question. That’s absurd. I can give you many more examples of corruption on the other side. I could start with the two “local” governors and go across the country with examples of immoral behavior in White controlled governments. It's further proof as to why the South will soon be the victim of the racism it has tried to justify from the very beginning. This includes the one period of time you all want to forget; slavery. You seem to forget the impact it has had on the Blacks that were brought to this nation for your benefit and how you stole free labor for decades. You also don’t want to admit how your behavior since then has affected the Black psyche. I strongly feel the shift in the Nation’s leadership is the retribution/judgment you thought you had avoided. The same God you claim to worship is indeed real and will not excuse your behavior. The sufferings of this current Southern generation are definitely the residual effect of the sins of your fathers.

Anonymous said...

Below is an e-mail response sent to me by Commissioner Roberts as a response to my e-mail stating that Mr. Jones should be fired for this current fiasco. I'm sure Mr. Jones IS really sorry. I would be too given his $200,000 per year income. But with that kind of income comes responsibility. I have no doubt that this was standard operating procedure for Jones. Find out where they work, and get them fired. What a douche.


Thanks for writing and for your interest.
Harry has apologized and realizes he made a mistake. I will copy what he has sent to another constituent in an email he sent me as well, and when I get a copy of his full statement I will forward that.

Mr. Jones' words:

"I have issued a personal apology to Mr. Lomax and he has accepted it. In addition, at approximately 3:15 today I read a statement to the Board of County Commissioners letting them know that I was wrong to send his email to his employer and that I did not have malicious intent in sending it. I have learned a very important lesson-one I will not repeat. Thank you for communicating with me. Harry Jones"

Thank you for your concern.

Jennifer Roberts

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11:44: It sounds like you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. I haven't seen anything in the Observer comments or in the comments on this blog that would indicate issues with the color of Jones' skin. Jones' actions bring back memories of the political 'machine' in Daley's Chicago. We don't need that kind of corruption in Charlotte. And THIS, dear citizens, IS corruption.

David I said...

Anon 11:44am - If you truly believe what you write here, why not be adult enough to post it under your name instead of Anonymous?

"You seem to forget the impact it has had on the Blacks that were brought to this nation for your benefit and how you stole free labor for decades." I bet you would have an extremely hard time finding any person on this planet that was alive during the time that you are referring to. So exactly who is the "you" in your post? Are you lumping ALL white people in to this category? Wouldn't thinking such as this fall in to the same category of racism as you seem to be against?

More to the point, where did you read in this article or any of the posts that Jones was being reprimanded due to the amount of pigmentation in his skin? From what I have read thus far, his pigmentation has nothing to do with this issue. It's his actions that are being questioned.

At some point in time the past has to be left in the past. Unless the people who caused the atrocities that you write about can be brought to justice, trying to punish other people who had nothing to do with those actions is a complete waste of time.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster at 11:44 AM:

Why have you tried to make this into a racial issue? Don't you realize that that is what is keeping racism alive, when you make every action taken against a black man into a racial issue. I am 48 years old and have lived in the south all my life, but I had NOTHING to do with slavery. I believe it was wrong, but just because I live in the south, and I'm of the white race, then I am automatically considered a racist. Isn't that called "profiling"? The God I serve knows my heart, and knows that I love all people, of every race. That doesn't mean that I love their actions. I for one am so tired of the same old song and dance. It's time to move forward, and quit blaming every situation concerning a black man on racism. White men error, just as do blacks. If anyone, including Mr. Jones, commits an incorrupt action, he or she should be held accountable. It has nothing to do with the color of their skin. Please get over it!

Anonymous said...

If you're as upset about this as I am, I urge you to contact the County commisioners and demand Jones' ouster. Here are there e-mail addresses:


Anonymous said...

Mr Jones knew exactly what he was doing when he sent that email to bofa. I agree, not sure what Betty was emabarrassed about. I am just grateful that Mr Lomax didn't send his email from the office, because they surely would have done what Mr Jones wanted them to do, which would have been awful. Mr Jones, I wouldn't have accepted your pathetic apology. In fact, I would be your biggest nightmare going forward. Sincerely, Homeboy living in the ATL.

Anonymous said...

BETTY TURNER, BETTY TURNER, BETTY TURNER, BETTY TURNER you're the one who needs FIRING. Way to go supporting for fellow colleague. Is this how BANK OF AMERICA OPERATES? IS this how they treat employees? Do they presume guilt before even hearing the facts? You're a disgrace to society Betty Turner. I should forward your email to Ken Lewis since you like getting people into trouble.

Anonymous said...

Harry uses an internal survey tool that collects the IP address of the survey taker. The survey report tool can generate reports with this IP address. Do you think we feel safe working for someone that solicits our opinion and tracks who says what?