Raleigh Councilman Stagner breaks silence, criticizes N&O coverage

ccampbell@newsobserver.comOctober 15, 2013 

— City Councilman Randy Stagner criticized The News & Observer on Tuesday as he made his first public remarks since losing his re-election bid last week.

At the end of Tuesday’s four-hour council meeting, Stagner congratulated fellow council members on re-election and said he’d miss serving with them. He didn’t mention opponent Wayne Maiorano, whom he has not spoken to since the election.

Stagner then said he wanted to note that the issue of reserved parking spaces never came up when the City Council voted to fire City Manager Russell Allen in April.

The N&O, in a May story, published email records from January in which Stagner complained to Allen about his reserved council parking space being taken.

Stagner forwarded the email exchange to fellow council members Jan. 25 with this note: “Mr. Allen has handled this simple administrative issue poorly with his staff. In light of this and other recent staff-related issues, I would like to discuss his future with the City of Raleigh at your earliest convenience.”

The parking exchange later became a campaign issue.

On Tuesday, Stagner demanded a public apology from The N&O for publishing multiple stories about the topic.

“No issue of parking was ever discussed,” he said. “This fabricated narrative for months was in their pages. The News & Observer owes the City of Raleigh an apology.”

No other council members responded to Stagner’s comments during the meeting.

Campbell: 919-829-4802; Twitter: @RaleighReporter

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