Wanda Merschel's conflict of interest on Mast General Stores

Winston-Salem City Attorney Angela Carmon tells YES! Weekly that Councilwoman Wanda Merschel, who chairs the city council's finance committee, recused herself from council votes on incentives to Mast General Store because John Cooper, an official with the company, serves on the board of directors of Piedmont Federal Savings Bank. Merschel, who represents the Northwest Ward, is employed as a senior vice president at the bank, and Carmon said the board plays an instrumental role in setting salaries for senior employees.

John Cooper purchased the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis with Faye Cooper in 1980, according to the company's websit.

Carmon said she discussed how the relationship could pose a potential conflict of interest in a verbal conversation with Merschel.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Carmon initially said that a "Mr. Coe," who owns the building where Mast General Stores might potentially locate, was the person who serves on the board of directors of Merschel's employer, but called back to correct her statement.


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