SALISBURY – The future of an elected official is unclear this week after the Wicomico County Council voted to meet in closed session to discuss “council personnel issues” following Tuesday’s legislative session.
After the council approved the release of closed session minutes from March 18, it was confirmed the majority of the County Council had begun to question whether Councilman Bob Culver could secure confidential information.
“I would like to make a motion that after the adjournment of the legislative session we enter into a closed session to discuss council personnel issues,” Councilman John Hall said, and Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman second the motion.
Following a closed session discussion on March 18, Culver immediately felt under attack and stated he knew nothing of a council personnel issue to be deliberated.
“I am not in favor of anymore secret meetings if I can avoid it,” he said. “I will be honest with you. I think this county has had enough of closed door meetings. We need to be out and show everybody what is going on.”
Hall stood behind his motion and responded because it is a personnel issue it is required to be discussed behind closed doors.
Councilwoman Sheree Sample-Hughes asserted Culver knew the subject matter to be discussed because it was first brought up in a prior budget session but quickly realized the motion was not what she thought.
“This is a council person,” Joe Holloway put out on the table as the other council members wondered if the issue came down to a certain council person or support staff.
Culver asked for an answer to which Hall responded he would not further discuss the reasoning behind his motion in public.
Due to Culver’s disagreement with the motion, Council President Matt Holloway called for a roll call vote that resulted in himself, Hall, Prettyman and Sample-Hughes in favor and Council members Gail Bartkovich, Joe Holloway and Culver opposed.
The March 18 closed session minutes revealed council members debating the ousting of Culver after he reportedly divulged private legal information regarding the State’s Attorney office lease bid process.
In the end, the majority of the council felt the discussion in itself was sufficient as a private reprimand and it was left at that until this week’s council meeting when the issue was discussed privately.
Minutes of the closed session discussion were not available as of press time Thursday.