City Councilman Andre Knight told a regional television station he did not engage in criminal wrongdoing.
Knight on camera made clear he is not going to resign in the aftermath of a report of an investigation of the City of Rocky Mount by State Auditor Beth Wood and her team, which included him as a focus of the probe.
"I have never stolen," Knight told WTVD in an interview conducted in the council chamber and aired on Friday afternoon.
"I have never taken. I never asked for preferential treatment. I have always fought and worked hard," Knight said.
"That's a lie — and I challenge that. I have proof, just like she do," Knight said in reference to Wood.
A major finding of Wood and her team's probe showed multiple city officials prevented the municipal Business Services Center from trying to collect $47,704 in utility bills owed by Knight — and showed the total was eventually taken off the books.
Wood told WTVD there is evidence to support her and her team's findings about Knight.
Mayor Sandy Roberson in a teleconference on Monday asked for Knight to step down from the council.
WTVD asked Knight about whether he is going to do so.
Knight said no and added there was no criminal activity.
"And I plan to serve my constituents," Knight said.
Knight's comments were the first to a news organization since Wood on May 15 released a report detailing the findings of her and her team's probe.
The Telegram's attempts to reach Knight have been unsuccessful.
Word of WTVD planning to air video of an interview with Knight began circulating via social media on Thursday evening, this after activist and videographer Curmilus Dancy II posted a message on his blog.
Knight, who was first elected in 2003, presently doubles as mayor pro tem, which means he chairs council work sessions.
The purpose of a council work session is to discuss matters City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney and the council consider as requiring a more in-depth explanation, study or discussion.
Wood and her team began probing the city in response to 213 complaints about alleged misconduct by city elected officials and city employees.
Wood's and her team's report was made public the day after the city issued a press release giving both the city's narrative of Wood's and her team's findings and the city's responses to them.
Wood and her team's report included an extensive rebuttal to the city's responses.