Drunk Driving? Tax Cheat? No Problem! Not for Apex Republicans Skip Stam and Keith Weatherly
It was a routine drunk driving stop. State Trooper M. Cape saw the car swerving in and out of lanes around midnight on Feb. 13th. He pulled the car over, asked the driver, a 24-year old male, to take a blood alcohol test.
The man refused. The man was arrested. The man was given a court date.
Then the man ran for Apex Town Council, and with the help of Republican stalwarts Mayor Keith Weatherly and Rep. Skip Stam (R-Apex), he won.
Scott Lassiter, a 24-year old teacher at the Johnston Co. Schools, was been groomed by the Apex Republican establishment for years. Ironically, his mother is Ann Lassiter, a confidant of former Democrat Speaker Jim Black and recipient of several thousand taxpayer dollars to write a 20-page “book” about the General Assembly a few years back. But that didn’t stop her and Keith Weatherly from being close, or from Weatherly appointing Lassiter to the town Parks & Rec board when Lassiter was still in high school.
Weatherly is also the legislative assistant for Majority Leader Skip Stam. Together, they’ve been preparing Lassiter for a plush little political career. And the first step was going to be town council in 2011, DWI be damned.
Before we go further, you should know some things about Scott Lassiter. First, he is just 24-years old. But that’s not a total impediment to public service, right? How about that he still lives in mommy and daddy’s house in Apex while he commutes to work in Johnston County? Or that he doesn’t pay his taxes until he decides to run for office.
According to the Wake County Dept. of Revenue, Lassiter was late paying taxes on three vehicles:
1. He was one month late on his 2005 Jaguar
2. He was one year, two months late on his 1990 Mercedes
3. He and his father were one year, seven months late on a 2003 Mercedes
All of these tax bills were paid at the same time: July 30, 2011. One week AFTER he filed to run for town council.
And there’s that pesky DWI thing back in February, too.
And tonight, Dec. 6th, Scott Lassiter will take an oath as a new Apex Town Councilman. Because Keith Weatherly and Skip Stam would rather have a little lackey to groom instead of qualified council members.
From what I understand from my sources, Weatherly made sure Lassiter got the Wake GOP nomination, and campaigned with him. As an Apex resident, I know what happened next: Stam donated to Lassiter, and with Sen. Richard Stevens (R-Cary) did robo-calls and mail for Lassiter as well. Weatherly, in a tough mayoral re-election fight, made sure his supporters knew to vote for both him and Lassiter. He probably didn’t tell them about the DWI, though. On Election Day, Weatherly got 60% of the vote, and Lassiter actually got more total votes than the other mayoral candidate, two-term councilman Bryan Gossage. People who voted for Weatherly went straight down the ballot to vote for his Yes Man.
And none of the voters knew about the DWI. That’s because the two local newspapers, The Apex Herald and the Southwest Wake News, both sat on the story. I know this for a fact, because I personally told them about it in October, a week before Lassiter’s Oct. 11th trial date. Even when the trial date was pushed back to Dec. 5th, both newspapers failed to run the story, and the people of Apex were not given the information they needed. It wasn’t until Dec. 5th, a full month after Election Day, that they decided to cover it. The SW Wake News reporter is Aliana Ramos. The Herald reporter is Shawn Daley. If you live in Apex, you need to know that these two people let you down. They failed to do their job.
Here are links to the stories they eventually ran:
Would it have been nice to know about this before Election Day? And look at what Weatherly said in that Apex Herald piece- “I certainly have no firsthand knowledge of the incident. We just need to let the courts decide. Just like everybody else, he is innocent until proven guilty.” Well, Mayor, if he is found guilty, will you hold yourself accountable for supporting him? For putting him into a position of authority? Unlikely.
Yesterday, Lassiter’s trial was again postponed, this time until Jan 11th. And tonight, he will take his oath of office as a yet-to-be-convicted drunk driver. Convenient, isn’t it? But if you live in Apex, I encourage you to attend tonight’s (Dec. 6th) swearing in at 7pm at the town hall. Let Lassiter know that if found guilty, he should resign. Let Weatherly and Stam know that they should be ashamed for supporting Lassiter for public office. Let the three of them know that you deserve better from local government. Call or email Aliana Ramos and Shawn Daley and ask why they sat on this story for two months.
We deserve better in Apex.
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