Charlotte City Council member Tariq Bokhari raised the prospect of the city giving $500,000 in federal COVID-19 relief money to a business assistance program linked to the nonprofit he runs, say three council members who said they raised concerns about the idea earlier this year.

Bokhari’s suggestion stands separate from another proposal he made to have the city direct $1.5 million in taxpayer money to a program run by Carolina Fintech Hub, where he is executive director.

Two of the council members told the Observer that they questioned whether such a deal would violate the city’s ethics policy that forbids officials from gaining personally from their positions in public office. A third said she wanted more transparency brought to how the city intended to spend public money.

Bokhari does not dispute that he mentioned the program to city administrators, but said it was part of a broader discussion about how

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