The North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans received $74,999 in a settlement with the Board of Governors less than a week before the $2.5 million Silent Sam agreement was announced, according to public records released Monday.
The $74,999 settlement agreement was signed on Nov. 21 and enumerated that the SCV’s activities on UNC System campuses would be limited, given that a consent order was approved. That consent order, which gave the SCV possession of the monument and a $2.5 million trust for its preservation, was approved on Nov. 27.
The SCV agreed not to display Confederate flags, banners or signs at events on property controlled by the System. It also agreed to comply with UNC System policies and procedures regarding group events for five years.
If the consent order was not approved, the SCV agreed that it would not hold events on any campuses for five years in exchange for the $74,999 payment.
This additional settlement was disclosed in an editorial from five BOG members, published in the Raleigh News & Observer on Monday morning. The editorial was written by Jim Holmes, Darrell Allison, Wendy Murphy, Anna Nelson and Bob Rucho and was entitled “We created a trust to pay a Confederate group to take Silent Sam. It was the best solution.”
The writers defended the $2.5 million Silent Sam agreement by saying that it protected students, faculty and staff from harm by ensuring that Silent Sam was not returned to a county where there is a UNC System campus.
“We were given the responsibility to resolve a deeply divisive and personal issue,” the editorial said. “While we have heard from citizens from across this state who have expressed their gratitude for our efforts of finding a solution to this issue, we also acknowledge that others strongly disagree with the Board’s decision to approve a settlement. Compromise was a necessity.”
On Monday afternoon, the UNC System released several documents from public records requests about the SCV settlement. Among other things, the documents showed that the UNC System signed the $74,999 settlement with the SCV before the agreement to give the group possession of Silent Sam occurred.
T. Greg Doucette, a criminal defense attorney, said he thought the timing of the BOG editorial was suspect. He said the members who wrote the editorial likely knew the “document dump” later on Monday would disclose the Nov. 21 settlement.