Washington City Councilman In The Hot Seat

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

High electricity rates and the increase of people who can't pay their bills is a hot topic in one city in the east. It's also raising questions about one of their own council members use of "power. "

There's talk Washington councilman Darwin Woolard owes the city close to 10 thousand dollars for electric services. The allegations came to light, after Woolard voted against reducing the electric rate at Monday night's City Council meeting. Woolard says, he has nothing to hide and isn't in debt with Washington utilities.

We checked with the clerk of courts and found Woolard has other debts that total more than ten thousand dollars, but none with the city of Washington. Woolard says, like everyone else he too, has financial hardships.

We asked to see Woolard's utility records, but were provided with a general statute by the city that says those records are confidential.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by News on Nov 1, 2009 at 04:33 AM
    No one has mentioned the harassment charges brought upon Gil Davis by former employees
  • by unknown Location: raleigh on Oct 8, 2009 at 03:18 AM
    Darwin u crook! Im so glad im out of washington!
  • by Larry Location: Washington on Oct 3, 2009 at 03:48 PM
    Everyone is missing the point. Who has allowed Mr. D. Woolard to NOT pay his utilities bill? If it goes all the way to the top and Mr. Jim Smith, the WNC City Manager, who just got a $35,000 raise, is the one who ultimately allowed Mr. D. Woolard, WNC City Councilman to NOT pay his bill, then it is time for a new city manager. All those beneath the city manager should not suffer because of Mr. Smith's alleged power. No one in Washington Utilities should suffer or lose a job because of this, unless they have allowed this without authorization from above.
  • by "It's all about politics!" Location: Washington on Sep 27, 2009 at 11:37 AM
    Four days after WITN's story on Darwin Woolard, the Washington Daily News has a similar story on its front page. Instead of WITN and the Washington Daily News picking only on Darwin Woolard during his bid for reelection, why don't Washington's two most powerful media outlets investigate personal issues concerning the other seven Washington City Council candidates: incumbents Richard Brooks, Gil Davis and Doug Mercer; and challengers Donna Lay, Edward Moultrie, William Pitt and Bobby Roberson? That would only seem fair to Darwin Woolard. When media outlets search for news and depend upon innuendos offered by their consumers, often, like WITN and the Washington Daily News have done in Darwin Woolard's case, the media outlets navigate toward rumors and build their stories on subjects that are sensational. WITN and the Washington Daily News still have time to make this election a fair one. A suggestion would be for the two of you to sponsor a forum as a public service to Washington voters.
  • by Bobthe builder Location: New Bern on Sep 26, 2009 at 10:08 AM
    you think your electric rates are high? you ought to be a City of New Bern customer. The kw/hr charge is 14.3cents! and guess what else? thanks to all the northern development (i.e. snobby Tabernia) we the regular customers have to pay more for sewer too! We all have this 1/3h.p pump in a sump system that runs continally after a rain drawing a lot of current. So we pay high electric rates, plus for every gallon of water we use we pay for a gallon of sewer! The city of New Bern is really in the "cash cow" business!
  • by To confused still Location: Washington on Sep 25, 2009 at 07:15 AM
    Yes, this is the same Darwin Woolard that worked with the Beaufort County Schools for a number of years. Darwin is a friend of mine and is wonderfully gifted when it comes to helping others, especially children. He is just trying to make it like everyone else in this tough economy. Hang in there Darwin!
  • by confused still... on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:23 PM
    Can somebody please answer me, is the the Mr. Darwin Woolard that did a lot of work with the children in the schools?? I remember when i was in primary and middle school a Mr. Darwin who was black (not being racist) was spending a lot of time helping the children in the school, teaching us about socializing and having fun... please tell me if this is the same one.
  • by "It's all about politics!" Location: Washington on Sep 24, 2009 at 08:45 PM
    For one report on WITN's primetime news, "It's all about politics!" Why does WITN research Washington City Councilman Darwin Woolard, who has filed for re-election, because WITN hears "there's talk" from the public and listens to "what many are saying in the community"? Sounds more like gossip than real news. Now that WITN has stepped onto the stage to investigate one Washington City Council candidate, WITN should investigate, based on similar reasons, the others running for election to the Washington City Council. In all fairness to Darwin Woolard, WITN should look at what the other Washington City Council candidates are doing when it comes to what seem to be their personal issues. Witchhunts will only disappear when all sides are scrutinized in a fair light, especially when a media outlet like WITN is trying to make its consumers happy. Hang in there Darwin Woolard-maybe WITN will look at your competitors like WITN has delved into your personal life and make the election a fair one.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 24, 2009 at 03:24 PM
    Anon You and I for once agree on something. I feel if Mr. Woolard owe this kind of money it is because he was helping other people children. I don't see him as a man that would just take advantage of people just because he can. Come on people we know Mr.Woolard don't turn your backs on him now.
  • by Understand Location: not in washington on Sep 24, 2009 at 02:24 PM
    I understand all of you all's pain completely. I live in Kinston and yu should see the utility bill for my 2 BR Apt...$400 and I work 2 jobs and I am never home. So I place a call, I was told not only was there nothing that could be done about lowering the bill or checking the meter but also that I would not be receiving my $500 deposit back because I have paid my bill on the 26th(due on 25th) of every month for the past year therefore every single payment has been considered late. GIVE ME A BREAK!

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