Thursday, March 29, 2012

County Commissioner's Meeting Public Comments (3/28)

The Darke County Commissioners heard more comments and suggestions from the public this week regarding issues dredged up in the wake of the settlement with former employee Melody Lucas. Below are the public attendees' comments from the session. You can find the entire minutes of the meeting by clicking here.


Karyl Parks-DC Citizen: I have had quite a few concerns and I decided I would spare everybody of a lot of agenda that I had today. In doing so, I just want to say in general that I have been going over the past statements from the Commissioners, which it seems a lot conflicting amongst yourself. You would say one thing one week and say something else another week. There is a lot of discussion, I’m sure journal online, Darke Journal and you have seen the discussions, you can’t miss it. There’s becoming a breach of public faith from the Commissioners. We don’t feel that you have been honest with us and I can recognize that people can be human and can make mistakes. It doesn’t matter how big you are and you can make mistakes. However, I would like to see us learn from these mistakes instead of spending this effort and money covering it up, lets move on and correct them and do the right thing. I wanted to bring forward a statement, if I can find it, cause I had a lot of agenda, if I can find it. This struck me as very very important. This is from the “Declaration of Independence”, this is what we are all about and where we started. This sentence was brought up and it moved me. “When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Although the words have changed, the meaning has not. If you have the power to do what’s right, then you have an absolute obligation to do what’s right. I just wanted to remind you of that. That’s all.

Commissioner Rhoades: Thank you. Alex;

Alex Mikos w/TIGER Radio: Recently, Melody Lucas put together a statement that she put on Darke, and was wondering if any of the Commissioners had read that and had a response?

Commissioner Rhoades: I haven’t had a chance to read it, cause I was over at Indianapolis all day yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to read it.

Commissioner Stegall: I read it on County News the day it was written. It didn’t mean a whole lot to me. I’m not sure, you know, I guess that is her opinion I guess, that is all I know.

Commissioner Delaplane: I did read it. We dealt with it and were moving on.

Commissioner Rhoades: Anything else? Mr. Rhoades;

Bob Rhoades: Thanks Mike. Last night someone verbally attacked me on one of the chat boxes opening up an old wound. As other people have told me it was the intent to embarrass me and my family, I assume cause I have been very vocal about this whole thing. But all the person did was lead some credence to everything that has been said in and about this office the last two (2) weeks. My wife plead guility to “theft in office”. The occurrences happened right here in this building under the not-so-watchful eye of her bosses, the previous Board of County Commissioners. The occurrences well documented and happened back in 1997. Subsequently, she was charged with one (1) felony count and was sentenced to 3 months of community sanctions, lost her Pension and paid back every cent that was owed to this county. With the support from her family and friends she has moved on from the incident, an incident which was wrong but in many people’s eyes understandable. Two wrongs doesn’t make it right though. The State Auditor’s Office was involved in that and following that the State Auditor’s Office audit charged the Board of County Commissioners to come up with a better checks and balances for the employees of the county that directly report to them. The occasion and surroundings of Ms. Mongs’ departure make it obvious that wasn’t done. The one question that remains is why one (1) person that reports directly to the Commissioners is prosecuted for one (1) offense and similar offenses go un-prosecuted even though there was alleged that there was five (5) felonies. I have always been taught that justice is equal under the law but the caveat is to that, to that is if everyone is doing their job then the system works. Kelly Ormsby, our Prosecutor now, prosecuted my wife in that case, under the watchful eye of now Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein. He said at that time he wanted to make an example. Apparently, we need no more examples. The three (3) of you as County Commissioners have been provoked as liars (?) of a lot of people in this county, from all over this county. At some point perhaps telling the truth, no matter who it hurts, might work. It did for my wife. Disclosure of the facts surrounding the dismissal of June Mong, and the subsequent hiring of an un-qualified person as her replacement, need to be forth coming as soon as possible. Thank you.

Commissioner Rhoades: Ok. Mrs. Rhoades do you have anything to say?

Mrs. (Peggy) Rhoades: I just want to make this perfectly clear because it did come up on Darke Journal last night and I want everyone to know that I did, at no time did I think that it was wrong to prosecute me, I deserved to be prosecuted. I want everyone to know that I did pay back the money and I did do my punishment and I get very upset when I talk about this. I am now paying for it the second time because it is being brought up; and

Commissioner Rhoades: Ok;

Mrs. (Peggy) Rhoades: I just wish you would do something about June Mong because she did do a felony, and maybe more than just one (1).

Commissioner Rhoades: Ok, thank you. Thank you all.

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