Mumpower scolded by Rep. Charles Thomas

It can get hot under the spotlight, and for Asheville City Council’s major squeaky wheel, Carl Mumpower, that means reaction from more than just bummed out concert-goers and blogmeisters.

Yet another party got into the game when N.C. Rep. Charles Thomas chided Mumpower for forwarding an e-mail, sent to him by City Manager Gary Jackson, that details an Asheville Police Department prostitution sting operation and identifies the officers involved.

“Disclosing and publishing the names of undercover police officers for political gain is down right shameful and unethical,” Thomas’ e-mail says.

Mumpower responds that he intends to hold “our state legislators accountable for letting our court system reach its current level of dysfunction.”

According to the APD report, two officers conducted the sting, in which one officer “did an excellent job on picking up the girls and getting the solicitation charges,” resulting in several arrests. Jackson notes, however, that all suspects were released on a small bond or on their signatures and were “right back at it.”

Contacted by Xpress, Thomas said he continues to be baffled by Mumpower’s information release. “I saw no benefit in including their names,” Thomas said. “We need to be able to recruit and retain police officers as well as informants,” he said. “We undermine their efforts by needlessly disclosing their identities.”

Thomas, who is not accustomed to Mumpower’s practice of forwarding e-mails, said his comments were intended for Mumpower, not as a public statement. But he nonetheless maintained his position. “I was shocked,” he said.

According to state open-records law, any correspondance sent to or from a City Council member is a public document.

Mumpower’s and Thomas’ e-mail exchange is below.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


From: Captain Sarah Benson
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 7:54 AM
To: William Hogan


Capt. Sarah Benson

Patrol Division Commander


Integrity, Fairness, Respect, Professionalism

——-Original Message——-
From: Tammy Bryson
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 4:47 PM
To: Lt. Chris Young; Sgt. Mike Yelton; Sgt. Eric Lauffer
Cc: Shaun Ward; Captain Sarah Benson

After receiving information of high volumes of prostitution calls in the area of S.French Broad and Coxe Avenue, I conducted a small operation with the assistance of Officer Shaun Ward.  Officer Ward did an excellent job on picking up the girls and getting the solicitation charges.  We were able to get several girls in a short amount of time.  We started at 1100 but didn’t get out on the road until a little closer to twelve due to some vehicle problems.

In a message dated 4/5/2007 6:53:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Enforcement in this area is of interest to you I believe…six prostitutes arrested in the S. French Broad area.

Unfortunately, they are bonded out on a small bond or released on their signature and they are right back at it.

Date: April 5, 2007 7:35:25 PM EDT

Mr. Jackson.

Thanks you for this.  With your permission I am going to share this information with the Drug Commission, our Legislative Delegation, and others.  It offers an excellent window into the limitations of our current judicial system’s capacity to support enforcement of our laws – with a resulting morale impact on officers involved.

Prostitution offers a host of connections to drug traffic, crime, and other social harms that are anything but victimless or innocent.

Appreciation is due for this information and the enforcement efforts behind it.

Carl Mumpower
Asheville City Council

——-Original Message——-

Sent: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 7:33 PM
Subject: RE: [asheville-politics] RE: FW: PROSTITUION AFTER ACTION

Dr. Mumpower,

Your e-mail of yesterday is traveling the internet.

Disclosing and publishing the names of undercover police officers for political gain is down right shameful and unethical.  You had the opportunity to remove and/or exclude their name(s) from your forwarded e-mail, yet you chose not to.  If it is not a felony already, I will file legislation to make it so.

Charles C. Thomas
North Carolina House of Representatives
District 116
Legislative Website:


Date: April 6, 2007 8:27:20 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [asheville-politics] RE: FW: PROSTITUION AFTER ACTION
Dear Representative Thomas:

An understanding that this was a public document and that the names were not confidential may ease your assertions.

I will share my interest in holding our state legislators accountable for letting our court system reach its current level of dysfunction.  There in lies the the more authentic point of shame and ethical failure.

Carl Mumpower
Asheville City Council

When were good and noble people ever in a majority?


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

7 thoughts on “Mumpower scolded by Rep. Charles Thomas

  1. Don Yelton

    Well thanks to Brian for getting it straight that communication between city manager and anyone else is public records..

    I do not know what makes elected critters think they can do any darn thing they want behind closed doors. I am really surprised that someone would say that this behavior is progressive…

    Does that mean that progressives are for closed door politics?…

  2. Dr Gonzo

    Mumphord is a disgrace to all of Asheville and county and city governments to.

    I feel the town we all love and treasure so much is being sidetracked to attention whore Mupmhord,

    He needs to step down after endangering the law officers lives and for felonius possession of crack cocaine’

    Dr Gonzo

  3. I’m willing to bet that your dislike of Mumpower has more to do with the (R) beside his name that you see in the voting booth that it does with any of his actual policies.

    I say keep him on the council. In fact, let’s make him a duke, or some other form of nobility.

  4. Don Yelton

    Sounds like to me that Dr. Gonzo is not liberated but shackled with childhood agressive anger toward his parents for spanking his little bottom for deficating without control.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.