City leader's comments about next city manager lead to infighting

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One Charlotte city leader's comments about who could be the next city manager set off a string of infighting.

Curt Walton is retiring the end of this year.  City leaders plan to lay out their plan Monday for hiring a new city manager.

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon started guessing who the council could end up hiring in Walton's place.  He threw out a few names (former Assistant City Manager Vi Lyles, former CATS CEO Keith Parker, and current Assistant City Manager Ron Kimble), but said council will probably do a national search.

Mayor Anthony Foxx sent an email to all council members, mentioning Cannon by name, saying he "would caution against speculating publicly" and asking for "patience."  He seemed worried about biasing the process, scaring off potential applicants and making it look like city leaders have already made up their minds.

Then, council member Lawana Mayfield sent a scathing email to the group.  She didn't mention Cannon specifically, but wrote "speculating" is "truly premature."  She implied, if Cannon wants to be "Mayor," he should "RUN for the position" instead of making "OUR City look bad."

So Cannon fought back.  In an email of his own, he mocked "Mother Mayfield's lambasting" and wrote Foxx's email was "a bit over the top."

Foxx would not discuss this with Eyewitness News.  Mayfield didn't return a text or email sent Friday.  Cannon texted Eyewitness News that he never knew that to give his opinion, he'd be told to run for mayor in such a "bullish way."