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Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

TDA chair says pot charge no problem

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The chair of Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority says a misdemeaor marijuana charge against the organization’s executive director will not affect her job status.

“It’s not relevant to what we’re doing or to our program of work. Nothing’s been proved, and there’s nothing in our job description and bylaws that deal with that, so I don’t even care to comment on that. It’s not relevant,” Aumen said.

The subject didn’t come up at a Jan. 10 orientation for the newly reorganized TDA board.

Haywood County’s tourism director Scotty Ellis has been charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia after the substance was found in her car during a routine traffic stop in Waynesville Dec. 30.

North Carolina Highway Patrol officer Travis Crisp pulled Ellis over for speeding on Russ Avenue in front of Kmart in Waynesville at 8:30 p.m. The Waynesville Police Department was called for assistance. After smelling marijuana in the vehicle, officers proceeded to search Ellis’ car and discovered less than half an ounce of marijuana and a glass pipe in the car. Officer Tanya Evans of the Waynesville Police Department issued Ellis a citation for possession.

Ellis denied that the marijuana and paraphernalia belonged to her.

“It’s not mine, and I will make that clear,” she said.

The TDA promotes tourism in Haywood County by spending room tax money collected at motels, hotels and inns.

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