If Town Planning Director Danny Wilson lied about siccing state regulators onto Josh’s Farmers Market, what else would he lie about?
The Scoop contacted Wilson on June 6, asking if he had filed a complaint with the state that prompted a June 1 state inspection of Josh’s Farmers Market — the first inspection of the market in 30 years. Wilson replied in an email: “I did not, nor did anyone from the Town’s PCD (Planning and Community Development) Department, file a complaint against Josh’s Farmers Market to the N.C. Department of Agriculture.”
Turns out, that is a lie.
Public records obtained by the Scoop from the N.C. Department of Agriculture reveal that Danny Wilson, in fact, filed a report with the state on May 10. His concern: the market selling “illegal beef.”
A compliance referral form from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Meat and Poultry Division reads: “Danny Wilson, Planning Director in Mooresville, said that (Josh’s Farmers Market Owner) Josh Graham with Grampian Farm is selling beef from cattle of his own raising at a farmer’s market and he isn’t listed as a registered meat handlers [sic]. (Wilson) said that he isn’t sure if (Graham) is taking his animals to an establishment to have them slaughtered and processed or if he is slaughtering his own animals. Please contact Mr. Wilson at the above given phone number for more information and he also has some questions about the regulations for selling meat.”
The state inspection resulted in no written violations against Josh’s Farmers Market.
Wilson has been the primary town employee to give countless hours of testimony, including under oath, against Josh’s Farmers Market since late last year, when the town increased its efforts to put the longtime Mooresville market out of business.
The town first levied thousands of dollars of fines against the YMCA in Morrison Plantation, where the market was located at the time, to force Graham to close that location. The town ultimately prevailed on Oct. 31.
Wilson and his department then granted two temporary permits to Josh’s Farmers Market to operate as “outdoor seasonal sales” at 140 Raceway Dr., where the market was located from November 2022 until the end of May.
In April, however, when Graham began applying for a temporary permit to operate at 630 Brawley School Road, Wilson and his department, outside of the town’s own ordinances, began rejecting the very same temporary permit, severely restricting the items the market could carry.
Once Graham agreed to the town’s changed terms, the planning department approved the market’s application for 120 days at 630 Brawley School Road, where it opened on June 2.
And on June 1 — the day before the market opened — Mooresville Code Enforcement Officer Rebecca Saunders was stalking the market from a nearby parking lot at the same hour that state inspectors visited JFM in response to Wilson’s complaint … the one he said he didn’t make.