Now (finally) the payoff before the payoff is under scrutiny:
Days before that deal was approved, UNC leaders struck a side deal with the SCV for $74,999, purportedly to keep the group from displaying any Confederate flags or other banners during any demonstrations on UNC system campuses for five years. But Boyd Sturges, the SCV's attorney, later acknowledged that the money was passed through to the United Daughters of the Confederacy so the SCV could stake an ownership claim to Silent Sam. The UDC had paid some money to have the statue put on the Chapel Hill campus in the early 1900s.
The side agreement was put in place in case the $2.5 million settlement deal fell apart, according to Sturges, and Baddour didn’t address it when he threw out the main settlement.
Bolding mine, because that is exactly the opposite reason for that stealth $74,999 payment. The money was paid to facilitate the ownership transfer (between a husband and wife, if you can believe it), in order to ensure that the Sons of Confederate Veterans would have the standing they needed to move forward with the lawsuit. The big question is, was the UNC BOG aware of that subterfuge? If they were aware, they engaged in fraud and misdirection by cooking up a cover story for the expenditure of public funds. And not only did they misuse public funds, they did so in an effort to deceive and suborn NC's court system, as well. This case is begging for a formal investigation, and sooner rather than later.