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The $50 million question: Unpacking the quid-pro-quo allegation against Olson-Boseman

Port City Politics wide

On this episode, we break down one of the most complicated and troubling stories we’ve covered recently: allegations that New Hanover County Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman made a $50 million quid-pro-quo offer to Coastal Horizons to silence their criticisms of The Healing Place, the county’s planned peer-led drug and alcohol recovery facility.

To understand this story, you need to know the backstory of The Healing Place, how Coastal Horizons’ good reputation in the community was used to win a contentious fight to get a special-use permit from the City of Wilmington, how a massive but poorly-understood government agency known as Trilium pulled the strings of the process, and how medication-assisted treatment for drug addiction was at the center of all of this.

Sound complicated? It is. But we’ll unpack it all on this episode.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.