In response to last week’s profile of former Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane, former city council member Stef Mendell says “there are so many factual errors in this piece,” then begins with one of her own: “rumors” she heard that the INDY is “propped up” by McFarlane.  

Let’s start there. No, McFarlane isn’t “propping us up,” nor is she a member of the INDY Press Club. (We encourage McFarlane—and everyone else—to join today at Consider it a holiday gift to your community.) We’ll also note that Mendell did not respond to our request for an interview for that story. 

Mendell writes: “There was no last-minute coup led by Russ Stephenson about committee assignments after the 2017 election. Russ had been discussing committee assignments with Nancy for weeks. He begged her not to announce anything until agreements were reached, but she refused to listen. She said David Cox would serve on GNR over her dead body. She could never forgive him for successfully representing neighborhoods in the Publix rezoning case. She preferred to portray herself as a victim rather than continue negotiating.

“As far as Ron’s assault on Kay Crowder, Kay was nervous that night—she was never comfortable speaking in public. She was given Nancy’s remarks to read. Because the remarks had been written for Nancy, they did not include an acknowledgment of Nancy’s role. However, the next speaker, Kate Pearce, did acknowledge Nancy’s role. But that wasn’t enough for Ron. Not only did he attack Kay physically and verbally, he also shouted at Kate. Nancy and her allies keep trying to excuse Ron’s behavior because he was angry and upset, as if that justifies violence toward women.

“When I spoke with Nancy about it a few weeks later, I told her I thought it was imperative that Ron issue an apology to Kay. Nancy said she would get him to do that, but added, ‘I don’t want to drag you into my marital shit, but my husband does have anger management issues.’” 

“I’m sorry to see this,” Nancy McFarlane replies. “It is unfortunately filled with inaccuracies. The election is over. We need to move on.”

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