The following is an email New Bern Mayor Lee Bettis sent to the city manager and city attorney on Friday.
In it, he describes his reasons for deciding to not attend meetings for approximately six weeks.
The email was sent at the end of a week that saw Bettis charged with DWI in Havelock on Monday, deputies called to a Carteret County home on Wednesday after Bettis was allegedly involved in a domestic altercation with his wife, and a spokesperson announcing Thursday that he would take a two-month leave of absence.
Bettis was not charged in the Carteret County incident.
Read more details in the attached article, under related content.
From: Lee Bettis
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:11 PM
To: Mike Epperson; Scott Davis
Subject: Taking a Break
Good Mike, I wanted to clarify what my intentions are for the next several weeks perhaps up to 6 weeks. Yesterday the press reported that I was taking a leave of absence from the Mayor position for two months. To be clear, I am not taking a leave of absence, but I want to inform you that I will not be at the meetings for the next several weeks.
My reasons are as follows:
1) I love this city and have worked hard to build it up including hiring the most capable and intelligent city manager in North Carolina. We taken the city from financial turmoil to fiscal responsibility, we have done a great many things in this city during my term, and I am proud of those things. Right now I am a negative distraction that the city does not need and so it is in the city's best interest for me to remove that distraction for a while.
2) I have not been up to par since my hip replacement. I have put on 40 pounds and did not do physical therapy like I should have and I just cannot continue physically to push it. I have to get myself back into a physical condition to live up to the rigors of running my own business, being a good father and Mayoring.
3) Most Importantly, my family has been through quite a lot this week emotionally and spiritually. We are exhausted from this week and quite frankly from my schedule over the past three years of public service to the city. We need time to rest as a family.
For those reasons I will not be attending the next several meetings. I know the city will be in good hands with you at the helm. I am always available in an emergency.