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NORTH CAROLINA. IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE UNION COUNTY i SUPERIOR COURT DIVISION 18-CVS-2113 UN 1g A STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA ex rel. JOSEPH POLLINO and KIMBERLY. VANDENBERG, Plaintiffs, VERIFICATION AND AFFIDAVIT ve OF MARY G. SHKUT MARY G. SHKUT, Defendant, MARY G. SHKUT, being first duly sworn, deposes and says the following: 1. Tam over eighteen years of age and of sound mind at the time of the making of this Affidavit; 2. Lam a duly-appointed Councilmember of the Village Council (the “Council”) of the Village of Marvin (the “Village”); 3. Lama taxpaying resident of the Village; 4. offer this Affidavit and its attachments as proof that the above-named Plaintiffs have authorized, directed, and allowed the Village to use public funds—money obtained from the Village’s taxpayers—to pay their private counsel to prepare, file, and prosecute this private lawsuit for Plaintiffs’ own personal and political gain; 5. This Affidavit and its attachments also establish that Plaintiffs” counsel expressly or impliedly allowed for and participated in the use of public funds for the purpose of financing this private lawsuit when it should have been clear from the beginning of this controversy that public funds could not lawfully be used for such purpose; 6. Thave attached the following items to this Affidavit, all of which constitute true and accurate copies of the things they purport to be: a, Exhibit A is a transcript of the May 31, 2018, meeting of the Council, at which meeting I was appointed to fill the seat of resigning Councilmember Ron Salimao; b. Exhibit B is the Affidavit of Kimberly Vandenberg and its attachments, which Affidavit was offered in support of Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reconsider and to Amend the Judgment; c. Exhibit Cis a letter from my counsel to, among others, the Village Attorney, its Councilmembers, and the Mayor, dated June 22, 2018; 4. Exhibit D comprises highlighted invoices from the Cox Law Firm, PLLC, dated June 6, 2018, July 6, 2018, August 10, 2018, and September 5, 2018; ©. Exhibit E comprises highlighted invoices from the Brough Law Firm, PLLC, dated August 7, 2018, and September 4, 2018; £ Exhibit F comprises excerpts from Transparency Reports for the Village for June, July, August, and September 2018; and g Exhibit G is an email from Christine Alphin, the Village Administrator, to me, dated October 26, 2018; 7. Section 1-521 of the N.C. General Statutes states in no uncertain terms that “[i]t is unlawful to appropriate any public funds to the payment of counsel fees in any [quo warranto] action”; 8. By using public funds to finance this private lawsuit, Plaintiffs and their counsel have broken the law; My May 31 Appointment to Council 9. have served as a duly-appointed Councilmember on the Council since May 31, 2018, when I was appointed by 2-1 vote of the Council to fill the seat of resigning Councilmember Ron Salimao, (Ex. A); 10, From May 31, 2018, through the date of the making of this Affidavit, the remainder of the Council has consisted of Councilmembers Robert Epps, Nick Dispenziere, Kimberly Vandenberg (a Plaintiff in this action), and the Village Mayor, Joseph Pollino (also a Plaintiff in this action); 11. Atall times relevant to this Affidavit, Melanie Cox of the Cox Law Firm, PLLC, has served as Village Attomey; 12, Mrs. Cox did not attend the May 31, 2018, meeting, but, after Councilmembers Epps and Salimao moved to accept Councilmember Salimao’s resignation and to appoint me to fill his seat, Mrs. Cox was contacted by the Council and consulted with the Council over the phone (Ex. A); 13. After my appointment at the May 31, 2018, meeting, the Council considered some additional business and then adjourned the meeting (Ex. A); 14. After its May 31, 2018, open meeting, a quorum of Council did not attend another open meeting until July 10, 2018; 15. Its failure to hold any open meeting did not, however, stop Council from voting on ‘matters and taking specific actions at least as to me and my appointment; 16. _ Indeed, from May 31, 2018, through July 9, 2018, Council held at least one and, upon information and belief, several other, meetings for the purpose of conducting Village