The Good: The Daily Tar Heel
The Daily Tar Heel did not do the work of a student newspaper last week. The Daily Tar Heel did the work of a first-rate major metro newspaper, out-hustling every media outlet in the region on one of the Triangle’s biggest stories. First, its parent company sued the UNC System and the Board of Governors for allegedly violating the state’s Open Meetings Law by secretly negotiating with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A few days later, the DTH released a blockbuster report showing that the SCV may be violating state and federal tax laws.
The Bad: Sylvia Hatchell
It’s been a rough year for Sylvia Hatchell, the long-tenured and hugely successful former coach of the UNC women’s basketball team. In April, she resigned after an independent investigation found that she’d made racially insensitive remarks and forced some players to play injured. Then, on Friday, Hatchell was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and a moving violation after Durham police say she struck an 89-year-old woman with her car while making a slow left turn outside of a fitness center.
The Awful: Sons of Confederate Veterans
As good a week as the DTH had, the SCV had an awful one. The DTH’s lawsuit is bad enough—if the paper wins, a non-zero possibility, the settlement could be tossed. The paper’s reporting is worse: Fees paid to an SCV “cavalry” were routed via cash or personal check to the state SCV’s legislative officer, Bill Starnes, who then funneled that money into the SCV’s PAC. That seems to be illegal in two ways: First, the funds paid to Starnes—tens of thousands of dollars—apparently weren’t being tracked, as nonprofits are required to do. Second, as a 501(c)3, the SCV simply isn’t allowed to control a political action committee, as appears to be the case here.
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