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City Council Vote Dredges Up Controversy From Primaries

Isaiah Seibert

Routine appointments to a city board created quite a stir during Monday night’s city council meeting. 

William Payne was one of the three names under consideration to the Evansville Commission on the Social Status of African-American Males.

Councilwoman Missy Mosby quickly condemned his nomination. She said he slandered her on social media in recent months during her primary campaign.

"I can show you posts," she said at the meeting. "I can show you pictures. I can show you lies that he’s said about me and how I treat-"

"I don’t think that’s appropriate today," said councilwoman Connie Robinson, the only black member of council.

She argued that whatever happened during the primaries was irrelevant.

"It’s obvious that a lot of people don’t like William Payne because he’s an advocate for social justice," Robinson said during the meeting. "When you look at purpose of this commission, I think he fits the criteria."

In a heated exchange with Mosby, Robinson hinted at racist remarks alleged to have come from Mosby’s campaign.

It’s an accusation Mosby flatly denies.

"Councilwoman Robinson, you do not have the facts and you are out of order," Mosby said.

After the exchange, the council voted against appointing Payne to the commission.

Robinson, one of only two affirmative votes, left the room immediately afterward. 

Filling the two vacancies, city council appointed Keith Patterson and Melissa Moore to the commission. 

Robinson said during the meeting that Patterson had told her he wanted to remove his name from consideration. City council decided to move forward with his nomination since the city clerk wasn't told he wished no longer to be considered. 

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