Column: Stop the Corruption

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

In yesterday’s Associated Press article about the delays in taking an incident report from Matthew Fenner, Jerry Wease was quoted for saying,

“Over the last two decades, it appears that different politicians or leaders in the community have had a certain fear of the Word of Faith and for whatever reason that sort of encapsulated them and made them untouchable,” said Jerry Wease, chairman of the Rutherford County Democratic Party and a licensed counselor who has worked with people who left the church.

He added: “If no one is going to stand up and say choking, beating, violence and abuse is illegal and morally wrong, I have one question: Why? Why is every elected official not standing up and saying this?”

Where are our leaders? Where do those who are chartered to uphold the law stand?

This is a defining moment for our elected officials. When corruption is revealed, it is up to them to either be part of the problem or part of the solution. In our county, the elected county officials have the power and charter to address these issues:

  • a sheriff who declines to help a victim
  • a director of our Tourism Development Authority who ignores the law
  • board members who do not honor their obligation to perform a check and balance on organizations where they serve (yet are re-appointed anyway)
  • poor business practices of directors who don’t obtain competitive bids on large ticket items
  • organizations that ignore obvious conflicts of interest
  • a DSS director who doesn’t address certain segments of abuse in the county

The county is not alone though. Corruption flows through out the county. In Spindale, for example, there are issues such as:

  • fired police officers who are exacting revenge on the current police chief
  • a board member who does not recuse himself from votes on retirement compensation that affect him
  • an audit and overhaul of their financial system
  • council members who manage to be absent whenever there is a controversial vote

However, the solution to the root problem lies with YOU. Your power lies with your vote. You elected these officials. They need to hear from you on these issues and more. Email or call each one of them. Become informed and let them know that we expect them to be part of the solution.