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Emails show missing Mecklenburg County commissioner requested medical leave months ago

WBTV Investigates: Despite request, county leaders were silent on missing commissioner’s whereabouts
County leaders first announced late last week that Commissioner Ella Scarborough would go on medical leave effective immediately.
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 2:29 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2022 at 2:41 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - New emails obtained by WBTV show a Mecklenburg County commissioner who has not been to a meeting in months requested to go on medical leave last fall.

Commissioner Ella Scarborough has not been seen at a county commission meeting since before the COVID-19 pandemic and last attended a commission meeting virtually in October.

Last week, county leaders announced Scarborough would take medical leave.

But the new emails obtained by WBTV show Scarborough first requested to go on medical leave in October.

WBTV obtained the emails after an email from Scarborough’s account was sent on Monday that included previous emails in the body below. The previous emails are all addressed to commission chair George Dunlap and county manager Dena Diorio but do not show the actual email addresses the message was sent to.

The first request for medical leave came October 26, the forwarded emails show.

“Effective immediately, I will be taking a 60 day medical leave of absence from the Mecklenburg Board of County Commission. I ask for privacy for me and my family during this time. Thank you for adhering to my request,” the email from Scarborough’s address said.

Previous: Mecklenburg Co. Commissioner Ella Scarborough taking medical leave of absence

A second email regarding Scarborough’s status was sent December 29.

“Pray everyone had a wonderful and restful holiday with your loved ones. I’m writing today to inform you that I will be out for the foreseeable future as I am still dealing with health challenges. I look forward to returning to serve the residents of Mecklenburg County very soon,” the message said.

“Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes. My family and I appreciate the privacy and ask that you continue to do so.”

Speculation about Scarborough’s status has mounted in recent months, even before her total absence from commission meeting.

Neither Dunlap, Diorio nor any other commissioner has addressed Scarborough’s absence.

Scarborough was the first Black woman to serve on the Charlotte City Council and has held multiple elected positions since the 1980s. She was last elected in 2020 and was the top vote getter among the at-large candidates.

Multiple commissioners tell WBTV they will discuss Scarborough’s status during their scheduled meeting on Tuesday. As of Monday afternoon, commissioners expected that discussion to take place in open session, although there was some effort to keep the discussion behind closed doors in a closed session.

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