Former Charlotte city councilor steps down as chairman at construction company after six months

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Former Charlotte City Councilor James “Smuggie” Mitchell is stepping down as president of RJ Leeper after just six months.

A 20-year-old politician, Mitchell resigned as General Councilor for the City of Charlotte on January 11, 2021 and took up his role as President of RJ Leeper Construction.

Mitchell says he was offered the opportunity to be part owner and chairman of RJ Leeper, a black-owned construction company, in December. Mitchell previously told WBTV that he viewed owner Ron Leeper as a father figure.

“For me, it was the perfect situation to take over a company that has a great brand image,” Mitchell said. “Great employees and being able to learn from my mentor on the business side. “

Now Mitchell is stepping down from that role after a surprisingly short stint. Mitchell made a statement about his sudden departure on Monday.

“James E. Mitchell, Jr. enjoyed his time at RJ Leeper Construction Company and the business flourished under his leadership. During his tenure, he was instrumental in securing 12 projects for the company totaling $ 265.5 million and creating a potential backlog of $ 280 million. Mitchell expanded RJ Leeper’s workforce by hiring additional staff and opened a new office in Wilmington, NC on May 26, 2021. Mitchell continued his passion for workforce development participating in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, working on a new workforce development initiative for the Charlotte Rescue Mission, and hosting monthly meetings with 7 minority businesses as part of the Mentor / Protected “, the statement read.

Mitchell’s statement says he continues to own 25 percent of RJ Leeper Construction and hopes the business will continue to thrive in the future.

There is no further word on the circumstances surrounding the departure. Mitchell has not said what his next plans are.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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