City Hall Gets Suggestive Text Message

Jacksonville, NC - There are more twists into the recent firing of Jacksonville city manager Kristoff Bauer. A questionable text message to Bauer has surfaced from one of those council members who voted to oust him.

The message says "So, when are you going to try Levitra on me?" Levitra is a male performance enhancing pill, similar to Viagra.

It was sent to Bauer's cell phone on February 6th, from council member Reva Sullivan's cell phone. On Friday, WITN obtained an e-mail Bauer sent to the mayor and council member Michael Lazzara with the text message in it, he is calling the text message completely inappropriate.

Sullivan was one of four members of city council who voted in favor of firing Bauer earlier this month.

Sullivan contacted WITN News on Friday, even before we had obtained the text message, saying it was not from her. The council member says her cell phone was taken and someone sent out the same text message to 25 people. "My phone was left sitting in my purse in a booth with some friends, someone lifted my phone out of my purse," Sullivan told us.

Sullivan says the next morning, when she realized what happened, she texted those people to apologize. She said Bauer texted her back to say "no problem, sounds like high school to me".

But the former city manager says that apology and follow-up response never happened. He claims after getting repeated late night phone calls to his city cell phone from Sullivan in January and then the text message, he confronted Sullivan and told her it had to stop. Sullivan told us her phone accidentally dialed Bauer's cell phone.

Sullivan told WITN News that she is in the process of asking US Cellular for her phone records to prove the message went out to 25 people that night...and plans to have some of those people sign affidavits that they too got the same message.

Sullivan defended herself by telling us, the former city manager is "leading us down a path", and that's the type of character we are dealing with. "Sexual harassment is no joke, and for someone to hold it until after they get fired it makes you wonder why it was held and not dealt with in February when it happened....well, because he knew it wasn't me," Sullivan told us.

When contacted today, Mayor Sammy Phillips said if it is a true message from Sullivan then it is highly inappropriate. "This could be construed as sexual harassment, my concern is that any single action from council member or employee, that they would take outside of the scope of their authority, that would bring liability on the city. That is my number one concern."

Former city councilman Horace Mann, who also was the city's former planning director, says it's shameful and he's shocked. "If the reason she voted to fire him is because he wouldn't engage in activities as the text message pointed out, if that's true I'm further shocked and greatly disappointed."

WITN on Monday obtained copies of the former city manager's cell phone records after an open records quest. There is no indication of any late-night calls on the records we received. But Bauer explained all of those calls went unanswered, and therefore would not show up on the bill.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lonnie Location: Edenton on Jun 23, 2009 at 08:54 PM
    Ms. Sullivan, Can I help you ?
  • by Mac Location: Jacksonvill on Jun 23, 2009 at 08:36 AM
    Is it just a coincidence that one of WITN's former employees now works for the city of jacksonville? Why are you only publishing remarks that are anti-sullivan and pro-bauer? everybody here is talking about how biased you and the daily rag are with your coverage. your about as fair and balanced as fox and cnn rolled together. oh - and i we have a bet in our office that this post wont make it up. witn like the rag is in the back pocket of governemtn.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Jun 23, 2009 at 08:04 AM
    I have that feeling that this councilwoman will be the guilty party. Think about it. With a mix of barhopping, claiming that a friend sent it but also changing the story a couple if times, I expect she is done. You will be amazed at what some women will do, even married women, when there is alcohol involved. Otherwise I would have to say that I would feel embarrased if I were married to the woman, and I bet this man's wife is an angry woman not only over his firing but also what messages another woman is sending him. Reva has messed up big time. If she is married and/or has children, then I feel for them.
  • by Disgusted Location: J'ville on Jun 23, 2009 at 07:33 AM
    I don't understand why new sites change the original articles but at one point this article or the one on the Jville Daily News site had a quote from Reva stating that "it was stolen from my purse"...and now she's got someone to put the finger on and blame for this? Wonder how much she paid him for that?
  • by kaybea Location: jax on Jun 23, 2009 at 06:10 AM
    He sent the text message in an email to the mayor and council member after she sent it to him to inform them that it had happened. He chose not to press sexual harassment charges on her at that time because he thought it was handled. As someone who has been sexually harassed, I didn't want to make waves and thinking that I had handled the situation after letting my boss know about it, also chose not to press charges or have my boss pursue the matter any further until it really got out of control. I would have taken the same approach as Mr. Bauer did. It got out of control and he got fired. It's within his rights to bring the matter to light now because it wasn't under control like he thought it was. Some people just feel bad for bringing light to these things until it's not in their control anymore. So read more than just this site's news. He told the mayor and council member about it. They have the proof and did nothing at the time upon his request.
  • by Anonymously Concerned Location: Jacksonville on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:39 PM
    I am appalled by the behavior of City Council "woman" Reva Sullivan. I have a hard time calling her a woman when she acts like a teenager! I am ashamed that the city council fired Mr. Bauer in the first place. He has done so many good things for the city since day one. He is a progressive leader, and by far one of the best City Managers Jacksonville has ever had. Just take for example the last city council meeting. Watching it on G10, it was amazing how many citizens, former government officials, and current City of Jacksonville employees stood up for him. Why? It is because he is a great person to work with, work for, and a great person in general. It sounds like council person Sullivan should resign for not upholding a positive public image. I mean come on, have some self respect and quit barhopping into your forties, leave that to the twenty-somethings. You didn't get elected to council to drink beers and fire a good person. JUST DO YOUR JOB and serve the Citizens of Jacksonville.
  • by Alex Location: Vanceboro on Jun 22, 2009 at 06:26 PM
    ive never had an unintended text sent from my phone..i think shes a liar. she looks like glenn close
  • by amazed Location: hubert on Jun 22, 2009 at 06:23 PM
    Wow, I see that this article has been updated since the original post. This snippet from the revised article..."Sexual harassment is no joke, and for someone to hold it until after they get fired it makes you wonder why it was held and not dealt with in February when it happened....well, because he knew it wasn't me," Sullivan told us"...was NOT in the original article. Sounds to me like sullivan is trying to backtrack YET AGAIN to try to cover her own tail! So the lies snowball into an avalanche. The original article on this site NEVER said anything about sexual harassment! Her story has changed so many times...and in just one day! I honestly think it would be best if she didn't say anything else but "i resign". It can't get any better for her from here on out. Personally, I would give a standing ovation to her for it. Don't misunderstand by thinking I could ever believe her but who in the public eye puts themselves in a situation where things like this can occur?
  • by T Location: Gville on Jun 22, 2009 at 05:49 PM
    I kinda of agree with her. Why would the man wait until AFTER he was fired to make a complaint or accusation of sexual harassment that occurred months prior. If it was an issue then you would think he would have reported it then rather then wait till now. Seems to me no matter what occurred he's just trying to start some mess.
  • by jvillemem Location: jacksonville on Jun 22, 2009 at 05:48 PM
    Quote by Cindi in Simpson: "So what!!??? She's grown." It's not an issue of her being "grown". SHE IS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE. She needs to represent herself as such 24/7. The truth still remains to be seen but if you see on the Jacksonville Daily News, the City Manager has waived his right to privacy so the council is free to state WHY they really fired him. It speaks volumes to me as to who is telling the truth whether she claims it was a "friend" or not. Don't bring a business phone to a BAR!!! I hope they rid this council of the excess baggage and somehow get Mr. Bauer back into his position where he was steadily moving Jacksonville forward into today. If he doesn't come back...the City is doomed to step back in time where they came from.
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