Midtown Raleigh News

Raleigh city planner punching incident resolved with mediation, apology

Mitchell Silver
Mitchell Silver American Planning Association

A former city employee accused of punching Raleigh planning director Mitchell Silver has agreed to settle assault charges with an apology and a small fine.

Lillian Thompson, who used to work in Silver’s department, attended a public hearing in July to oppose a controversial Sheetz gas station near her Northeast Raleigh home. Thompson approached Silver after the meeting and wasn’t happy with the outcome. Silver said she punched him in the shoulder, though she has described the contact as a “tap.”

On Thursday, Silver issued a news release with Thompson, announcing that the matter had been resolved last week through Wake County’s District Criminal Court Mediation Program. Thompson now admits that she punched Silver – “it was not a tap or a knock,” the news release said.

Thompson admitted that her behavior was inappropriate and apologized to the city planner, who accepted the apology, according to the release. Thompson will also pay a $60 fine when the charges are officially dismissed in court.

Silver’s “intent for filing charges was to ensure public meetings are safe environments to discuss public matters,” he said in the release.

Silver – a veteran city planner who recently wrapped up a two-year stint as president of the American Planning Association – has attended countless heated public hearings in his career, but he said the June punching incident marked the first time he’s been assaulted on the job.