EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
I think everyone can agree that if we can't count on the truth we don't have much of anything left to believe in outside the Good Lord.
What do you do with people that sit in positions of power and they clearly lie to the people they are supposed to be serving? The only thing I know to do is expose it and call it what it is, a lie!
In the video below Al Schneider of Grandview asked the County Board a simple question regarding the termination of a lease held by RSB Aviation. That question can be reviewed at the 10:20 mark of the video. Actually he asked several questions but for this article we focused on one key question!
"Did you guys vote to have Jimmy give this, take away this lease for Rusty?"
Chris Patrick Answer: The Airport Board did, yes
Q. They Voted...?
Chris Patrick Answer: YES
Q: To have Jimmy give him the termination....?
Chris Patrick Answer; Yes
Chris Patrick, County Chairman and former Airport Board Chairman who was present during the Airport Board meeting in question responds to Mr. Schneider's question, not once, not twice, but three times confirming that the Airport Board VOTED to terminate the lease.
Mr. Patrick, you sir have LIED to the Public in response to that question and not only is that lie confirmed with the comments of Karl Farnham at the 22:07 mark but the very minutes from those meetings confirm it. There is NOTHING in the minutes regarding ANY vote being taken let alone a discussion to terminate RSB Aviation's lease. NOTHING!
Karl Farnham: "That was NEVER mentioned."
Why is it important to expose a lie from public officials? Because when they can sit in front of everyone in that room, not bat an eye, and provide false information it paints a picture of Character, or lack of.
I debated on how to share my thoughts on this for days as I was out of town during this meeting and thankfully so as it has given me plenty of time to reflect on numerous items of importance relating to our local officials and the duty they have to the public as well as the duty we have in reporting it. A duty that any media organization has, which is to report the WHOLE truth.
Did you know that dishonesty, lying, is grounds for termination as outlined in the County Personnel Policy Manual? That can be found on page 9.
On page 29 I think everyone will agree this statement applies: Employees shall act with HONESTY, integrity and preserve confidentiality in the performance of their duties.
Or better yet, on Page 45 I think this sums it up quite nicely.
"Policy Guidelines. It is essential that County employees maintain unusually high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality and conduct to ensure the proper performance of County business and the citizens' confidence in their county government. The avoidance of misconduct and conflicts of interest on the part of County employees through informal judgment is indispensable to the maintenance of these standards. In accordance with these concepts, the following guidelines are established as County policy."
Below are those policies directly from the manual and I took the liberty of bolding key points as we know they either do, or soon will have, a direct impact on the conduct of both Chris Patrick and Jimmy Wells. All these can be found under the CONFLICT OF INTEREST portion of the Policy Manual, which is Chapter 14, page 45
1. County employees shall not:
a) Acquire outside interests which could cause a reasonable person to presume that the employee's judgment and loyalty on County matters might be affected.
b) Accept outside employment which will conflict with regular work hours or work, impair efficiency or be considered a conflict of interest in the performance of assigned duties.
c) Use County personnel, equipment or supplies in their outside work.
d) Advertise or solicit for outside work of any type where the advertisement or solicitation makes any reference to employment with the County.
e) Advertise or endorse (whether or not any compensation is received) any product or service where the advertisement or endorsement includes reference to employment with the County.
f) Use information obtained by reason of their County employment for personal gain or advantage.
g) Accept any economic opportunity under circumstances where the employees know or should know that there is a substantial possibility that the opportunity is being afforded them to influence their conduct in the performance of their official duties.
c) Make official decisions that are not in accordance with established statutes
and County policies and procedures.
Now that we have covered the fact that its clear dishonesty and lying are well outside the bounds of acceptance, especially for an elected official, lets look at some more confirmation that Chris Patrick failed to respond with the truth.
This information needs shared because I believe full disclosure is important and exposure of all the information is vital to see what we are really dealing with, with this new leadership. Many may have noticed the article in the Paris Beacon about the ongoing events at the airport as reported by Gary Henry.
From the Beacon: "Chris Patrick, Edgar County Board Chairman and former chairman of the Airport Advisory Board, responded in a way that implied the advisory board did vote to terminate the lease."
Yes, Mr. Patrick confirmed three times that this matter was voted on by the board.
Sadly, in the very next couple paragraphs Mr. Henry reported a quote of Karl Farnham: "I don't remember the board voting to terminate," said Farnham.
We have worked tirelessly beyond what most would understand to ensure when we report on events we cover it factually and fully. Mr. Farnham DID NOT make such a statement and the video will prove that.
From the Video - Karl Farnham 22:00 mark- "I heard another comment that what was voted on was that to terminate the lease, That was NEVER mentioned."
That statement is a far cry from Mr. Farnham "remembering" something. He clearly stated a fact, not a recollection and that has meaning.
In an effort to ensure full and honest reporting I offered to provide the minutes from those airport meetings to Mr. Henry. Those minutes prove that what Mr. Patrick said is not true.
Mr. Henry acknowledged he might want them at some point and commented that he has never had to take that measure of using FOIA as a means to obtain information.
Never had to take that measure to obtain information? I found that an interesting position as one of our primary goals was to ensure the whole truth is exposed, regardless of who's favor the outcome benefits. The entire principal of gathering documents from the Freedom of Information act is to validate the information we have. I would hope that future journalism in this county would use every possible source to confirm and validate events and comments, from video, tape recordings, FOIA documents etc. Doing the most basic in followup research ensures people like Karl Farnham are quoted correctly and that the documents from the very Board Chairman making dishonest statements in a public meeting can be proven as such with his own minutes.
Mr. Henry also reported that the Advisory board has the option of seeking outside counsel in this matter. That would be in direct violation of county statutes. The Airport is a public body of the County and it's the State's Attorney that is required to represent that board. There is no authority for that board to seek outside counsel short of an order from a judge based on a conflict of interest, which none has been mentioned. In fairness, if that board wanted to spend their own money they could seek "counsel" but they could not represent them in legal action, as that is a duty of the States Attorney, based on current statute and Attorney General Opinions.
I was pleased to see some kind of coverage on this in the local paper however when there was not a single mention of the Breastfeeding as the catalyst in this whole mess and then numerous incomplete or inaccurate comments I felt it necessary to provide my perspective on this and the whole truth as it relates to the comments by key county board members.
I believe we must seek the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth! It's clear Chris Patrick was not truthful in his comments and both first hand verbal witness and minutes obtained through Freedom Of Information have confirmed this fact. With those facts established and well documented, I again believe it's in the best interest of this county and all its citizens for Chris Patrick to immediately resign from public office.
Honesty Counts and Dishonesty has no place in public office!