Charlotte councilman James Mitchell has no stake in RJ Leeper

James “Smuggie” Mitchell takes the oath office for Charlotte City Council at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.

James “Smuggie” Mitchell takes the oath office for Charlotte City Council at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.

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Charlotte City Council member James “Smuggie” Mitchell doesn’t own a stake in the R.J. Leeper or Bright Hope Construction companies and hasn’t violated any relevant state criminal laws, according to a report by Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather.

Mitchell for months said publicly he owned 25% of R.J. Leeper, a company he previously led as its president. He resigned from the City Council in 2021 because of conflict of interest violations associated with his role and ran for council in 2022 after being fired as president of R.J. Leeper, which has active contracts with the city of Charlotte.

A state investigation requested by Merriweather found “extremely compelling” evidence Mitchell no longer owns a stake in RJ Leeper or its parent company Bright Hope

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