Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Victoria Peterson claims Jackie Wagsaff is making deals for personal gain as a member of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People

An audiotape obtained by the Rev-elution reveals possible conflicts of interest and back door deals by Jackie Wagstaff, Political Committee chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.  The tape was obtained from a member of the Durham Committee.

On the tape, Victoria Peterson, who has run for numerous public offices in Durham, claims Wagstaff used her clout as a member of the Durham Committee for personal gain.  The tape raises questions related to Peterson’s support for Wagstaff after she was censured as Political Committee Chair by the Executive Committee.

"I pretend like I support her, but how much respect do you really think I have for the girl,” Peterson says.

Peterson admits to paying Wagstaff $550 to get the endorsement of the Durham Committee in her bid for City Council.  Peterson says Wagstaff failed to fulfill the agreement after Donald Hughes, her son, filed to run for City Council against Peterson.

"Jackie said if I got her some money, that she'd help me get the Committee endorsement,” Peterson says on the tape. "I gave her the money and she agreed to help me do some things in The Committee.”

The Durham Committee member recorded the conversation with Peterson without her permission.  The informant claims Wagstaff has been questioned about making deals by members of the Durham Committee.  When Walter Dalton was endorsed as Governor by the Durham Committee, the informant claims the Durham Committee had issues with Wagstaff being paid by the Bob Etheridge campaign to serve as a poll worker. 

"Let's say you're a candidate, and you want to have people at the polls. You don't give Jackie $1,000 because she wheels-and-deals. She was getting paid by The Committee to push Dalton, but was taking side money from the Bob Etheridge's folks,” Peterson says.  “This woman is a wheeler and dealer."

The informant alleges  Wagstaff and then-Political-Chair Andre Vann bumped heads when Vann and then-treasurer Keith Bishop uncovered Wagstaff's plan of pretending to have countless people working polls for The Durham Committee by sending them to Vann and Bishop to be paid.  The informant says Wagstaff was working a scheme to hustle the Durham Committee of finances.

Peterson’s comments supported the informant’s accusation.

"Girlfriend has been working deals, trust me. We (Peterson and Wagstaff) were supposed to be getting a Republican in The Durham Committee to run at-large three years ago in the City Council election.”

The informant questioned Wagstaff’s motives and state-of-mind after she fought to have the Durham Committee’s books audited by Republicans.

“The Executive Committee had a major clash earlier this year, due to Jackie Wagstaff wanting to have the Republicans audit our books,” The informant alleges. “The organization was fine with an audit, but strangely, Wagstaff, a registered Democrat, seemed Hell bent on having the Republican-led State Board of Elections audit The Committee's books.”

Peterson suggested that Wagstaff has an agenda.

"She's now trying to get up with Thomas Stith, to see how she can get paid to push a Republican agenda in The Committee, now that she is Political Chair," Peterson alleges on the tape. "The word needs to go out to all candidates, especially these white candidates, to not give her any monies.”

Comments made by Peterson should be judged critically.  Can her assessment be trusted after standing as a devoted supporter of Wagstaff as Political Committee Chair?  Should we take Peterson’s comments seriously and challenge her on efforts to manipulate the political system?

Is the real story regarding the release of the tape about Wagstaff’s contravention, or is it more about Peterson’s ongoing effort to press a Republican agenda within the Durham Committee?  Or, is the real story about how divergent views have circumvented the work of the Durham Committee.

As damaging as Peterson’s comments play out, even more injurious is how the internal battles of an important organization curtail the mission to improve the lives of all black people.

You be the judge.


  1. I have never cared for neither of them. They both talk too much and never get any results. I don't even think the people of Durham really respects them, they are tolerated. I do however believe that both of them are seeking personal gain, based on what I have seen, read and witnessed. The people of Durham and the committee needs to really do a membership drive and get more members. Currently, I feel that are not drawing the high calibre person(s) because no one wants to be associated with the likes of those two. The committee needs those people who really care about the citizens of Durham and not a fast talking wanna be in the spotlight kinda person.

  2. I agree with the last post: this is not news. We all have known for years that Jackie Wagstaff and Victoria Peterson were using The Durham Committee as means to survive.

    How can someone who has no car, no home, owns no property and has NO JOB be the freaking POLITICAL CHAIR of an organization with the National Clout as The Durham Committee? I blame the idiots that voted Wagstaff in for this nonsense.

    Whoever recorded Peterson was brilliant because I know I'd never have a conversation with that woman alone unless I was recording it too. She can't be trusted.

    God is truly at work though, because these scoundrels are surely getting exposed. Peterson and Wagstaff are now officially dead in politics. Lights out. Stick a fork in them both.

    This is a good day. Wow, she got recorded. Sweet justice! This would only be complete if both of these CLOWNS were run out of the Durham County line.

  3. Ask Jackie Wagstaff for her resume. She has not had a pay check from an employer since leaving the school board. As for the post regarding no home, she lives with Donald who supports both his mother and brother since they are both unemployed and did not finish their degrees at Central. The Durham Committee needs membership dues!!!!

  4. I sure hope the committee can clean house and get back to working for the people of Durham. We need them to be more that a tool at Wagstaffs disposal to line her bank account. Republicans? Allowing continued divisiveness in our county at a time this critical is just sad. The Moral Monday movement needs us to move forward together, so those looking to make a quick buck at the expense of others need to step aside.

  5. Amen to all of the above......

  6. Carl, I don't think you're a terrible reporter. You're a great reporter. Uncovering this silly childish infighting...

  7. Carl does it again! Man the quality of your reporting gets better with time. This is some true investigative reporting. However the hell you got those tapes is amazing. I have been roflmao for the past 5hours. The durham committee now has the ammo it needs to get rid of these types of people. Looks like that executive committee the durham committee has now isn't so dumb after all. They clearly knew a lot more than they put out in public. This is the problem I have with us black ppl though..we will try to cover for one another. They should have put all of Jackie's dirt in the press from jumpstreet and forced her black ass to resign. I guess they are doing that now though. LOL. Rl please release the names to the public of everyone in the durham committee that voted for wagstaff. The public needs to know who her supporters are.

  8. If I was a racist I would want to encourage Black organizational infighting, I would want to encourage Black on Black crime. I would say let the Brothers and Sisters damage their own causes, we just have to get out of their way.

    How much self inflicted damage will you tolerate? Remember, we non-blacks are watching from the sidelines, and ultimately you will need our help. Is Jackie the way to get it?

    Does the organization care? Does she?

  9. Ask Danita Johnson about Jackie's wheeling and dealing.

    The poor lady tried to give Jackie a work opportunity with her non profit (feeding homeless ppl over off of Main St) and got stabbed in the back.

    Or ask Stella Adams about Jackie's loyalty. Jackie calls Danielle her daughter, but was out pushing Republican Kelly Smoke over Danielle Adams.

    Why does Jackie always meet new friends for about a year and then they always become enemies? Is everyone wrong except Jackie Wagstaff. Flee this woman like a plague!

  10. Mr. Anonymous commenter (we all know who you are)-- let's get some things straight:

    The Durham Committee is a nonpartisan organization. For years the organization has had Republican members and has endorsed Republicans at all levels. Your attempt to make this a Democratic vs. Republican partisan issue shows how limited your view and history of the organization is and, furthermore, is indicative of the type of divisive political posturing that our community no longer needs.

    You should go focus on your numerous legal issues (fraud, illegal practice of law, identity theft and more) instead of focusing your energies on the business of the Durham Committee.

  11. I was going to stay out of this until the last poster attempted to bring my fellow church member and his past into this discussion (a young man that I have witnessed doing more good than a lot of self proclaimed leaders in Durham). I could personally care less about anyone's old charges (that even includes Ms. Wagstaff, who has committed multiple felonies and fraud while in elected office, as a seasoned adult, not as a college student).

    I am an attorney and have helped the Durham Committee on many matters, and have dealt with numerous individuals that have made mistakes in their lives. This includes Ms. Wagstaff, who I have also helped. As black people we should never be quick to throw stones. There are people I know in the Durham Committee who have slept with married men and broken-up their homes but come to meetings attempting to be an expert on everything. They have no shame. I know others who are on drugs and pretend to be professional. I know another who had a legal capacity in the Durham Committee and has had several charges for beating-up his girlfriend on multiple occasions. So nobody is perfect. Not one of us. This includes me.

    I don't want people living in my past so I try to ignore people's past mistakes and look at their positive attributes. I live in the now and as for today, the right now, I have just taken the time to run the names of every officer of the Durham Committee and the only individuals that have current criminal matters are "Jacqueline D. Wagstaff" and "Jan Stewart Cromartie."

    So perhaps these people should not be focusing their energies on the business of the Durham Committee as they have current, criminal matters before the State of North Carolina.

    I also just learned that the Durham Committee Youth Chair, "Courtney Jordan" was charged with some felonies while in office this year. This shows me that it isn't about crime that gets one in trouble in the Durham Committee but instead being unprofessional and not being a team player. If this was about criminal matters the Durham Committee would have dealt with Mr. Jordan the same way when he picked-up his charges (more recent criminal activity than anyone else in the Durham Committee). They did not. I didn't even know about these transgressions until now (because you tried to throw stones at one of my brothers). So just Ms. Wagstaff's demeanor and attitude are why she was suspended, while other officers were not? Mr. Jordan wasn't picked on, so why was Ms. Wagstaff? Maybe because she was acting a damn fool?

    So be careful when you try to air other people's laundry, because nobody in the Durham Committee or any other organization is above reproach. That is why some of us are Christians - trying to live a better life, daily. I'd encourage the last poster to do the same. I'm sure after all there is a reason why you are anonymous. Let's keep pressing forward.

  12. it would seem that the audiotape speaks for itself.personal attacks serve no other purpose than to try to distract us from the real matter at hand.this information is mother and i will no longer give the durham committee one dime until this woman is removed.

  13. "My fellow church member"...give it up...we know you're talking about yourself.

    The real issue is that you have a felon, convicted of obtaining property by false pretsenses and 8 larceny (theft) and worthless check convictions, in charge of the Durham Committee's biggest fundraiser.

    I'd be concerned for all the folks giving checks to someone who has a record spanning more than 10 years of stealing and other crimes related to money and fraud.

  14. This is about Jackie. Not Jordan. Not Cromartie. Not Vann. Not Bishop. Not Allison. Not Little. Not Cousin. Not white people in the PA. Not even about Peterson. Jackie. Taped evidence trumps all this other personal bullshit ya'll are bickering about. Jackie is corrupt. And why is this 60 year old woman still driving all over Durham knowing she has no license? Her driving record shows she has been doing this since 1985. I guess this means she drove to Raleigh with no license when she illegally registered the Committee.

    If anyone sees Jackie driving call the police. Matter resolved.

  15. Say what you want about Ms. Wagstaff.

    My point still remains. You have a man leading the organization's largest fundraiser (collecting $$$) and he has defrauded many people. If the people he has victimized come to the Durham Committee, you would probably have more of his victims present than members of the Durham Committee.

    From obtaining houses and cars by false pretenses, to lying about his employment to defraud landlords, to scamming numerous women, writing worthless checks and practicing law illegally-- I'm more concerned about this OFFICER of the Durham Committee (that is in charge of the organization's largest annual fundraiser than I am anybody else.

    Oh yeah, I think he will be in court soon for scamming an attorney in Raleigh.