City shifts staff in effort to advance social media, community relations-attachment0

City shifts staff in effort to advance social media, community relations

The city of Asheville is shifting staff as part of an effort to improve social media and community relations. Asheville Police Department spokesperson Melissa Williams will move into a general community relations role, including overseeing the city’s blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, while Lt. Wally Welch will take on public information duties at the APD.

Anarchists march in protest of APD, gentrifica­tion

Chanting “cops, pigs, murderers,” and “smash the state, burn the prisons, anarchy and communism,” about 40 people gathered in Pack Square early this evening to protest police actions (including the arrest of 11 alleged vandals on May 1) and gentrification. The group marched down near the Buncombe County jail and up to Pritchard Park.

Photo by Jerry Nelson

Four city HR staff arrested, charged in fraud investigation **Updated 2 p.m.***-attachment0

Four city HR staff arrested, charged in fraud investigat­ion **Updated 2 p.m.***

The Asheville Police Department issued a release this morning announcing the first charges in the alleged fraud by several employees of the city of Asheville Human Resources Department. These include the director and assistant director of the department, who the city has no announced “are no longer employed.”

City Hall fraud investigation update ***5:20 p.m.***-attachment0

City Hall fraud investigat­ion update ***5:20 p.m.***

A city spokesperson confirms that Asheville City Council members and the mayor were eligible for a flexible spending program that’s now the target of a fraud investigation, but refuses to reveal which elected officials actually participated. The Asheville Police Department has also issued a statement, and says the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office and SBI are assisting in the ongoing probe.