Bishop disputes Wilson stories

Published 11:07 pm Friday, July 5, 2019

Bishop Carlton R. Upton Sr. says he said nothing wrong at the June 19 City Council meeting when he spoke about the city’s failure to send a proclamation to the family of former Police Chief Jimmy Wilson.

Wilson, who died May 30, was chief from 1997 to 2002. Upton spoke at the June 19 meeting to say the city should have sent a proclamation for the funeral.

“I believe this city should have been more sensitive to the family and send them a proclamation for his celebration of life,” Upton said at the June 19 meeting. “I think it’s unfortunate that we ignore persons who’ve given their service to this community and this city.”

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The Suffolk News-Herald on June 26 published a story on Upton’s speech with comments that came later in the meeting from city officials and followed up with a story on June 28 with comments from Wilson’s daughter.

Upton disputes the characterization of himself in those stories.

“My name is out there as if I told something wrong,” he said. “What do I have to gain (by lying)?”

He spoke with the News-Herald at the paper’s office on July 2, with Tabernacle Christian Church members Deborah Marshall and Alton Futrell Sr. also in attendance.

He showed the News-Herald text messages from Wilson’s daughter, Sharen Wilson McGlothen, that confirm that he believed on June 19 that the Wilson family had been ignored by the city and city officials.

McGlothen said this week that was her misunderstanding and that Upton was not at fault.

“He was not saying anything wrong,” she said. “He was going by what I told him.”

McGlothen added this week that she has received a letter of recognition from the city.