ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An Asheville city councilman let more than 60 drivers leave a county parking garage without paying as an event protesting North Carolina's Republican lawmakers wound down.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/1mqTw5O ) Democrat Cecil Bothwell used his electronic parking pass to let cars pass through the exit. Bothwell says people were having difficulty with the garage's public pay station, and he was trying to undo a traffic jam.
But Republican County Commissioner Mike Fryar says Bothwell essentially stole from county taxpayers. Fryar says it's not Bothwell's prerogative to let people park for free.
A "Mountain Moral Monday" event brought thousands to a park across from the garage.
But Bothwell says the event's politics had nothing to do with it. He says he'd do the same thing for a tea party rally.
Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com