WILLIAMSON – It’s not a question of whether or not they have any shame any more. After days, months and years, it is obvious they do not. After prison terms and lengthy investigations, Mingo County public officials figure they can just do what they want regardless of public sentiment or the law.
The most recent case in point is scheduled for 9 a.m., Monday, May 3, when members public officials and their peons have been invited to the unveiling of the remodeled Mingo County circuit courtroom. Refreshments will be provided the invitation says. We wonder if it will good, old hard likker since the law doesn’t appear to matter with regard to anything else regarding this project.
Absolute ethical questions have been swept aside in the name of providing Mingo County prisoners with the “starship of courtrooms.” After all, if law enforcement ever broke the murder case of former Sheriff Eugene Crum, the defendant would surely be enough of a celebrity to deserve adequate court surroundings.
It is useless at this point to debate the issue, since the powers-that-be have decided what they are going to do. Initially, county work crews started the renovation. Then the county commission found out it did not have the funds to finish the work all the while utilizing the “supervisory” skills of volunteer Christine Smith, who just happens to be the wide of a county commissioner.
This little shortage was no problem in Mingo where Judge Mike Thompson simply wrote a letter to members of the county bar leaning on them to contribute private funds to the cause. When Thompson learned that was illegal, she said the sheriff would accept “anonymous” contributions, another illegal undertaking.
No media outlet has explained exactly what happened in the interim, with the Williamson Daily News turning cartwheels to rush to Team Mingo’s rescue as they have always done. Thus, a complete renovation is said to be prepared Monday but we don’t know who finished the work, who paid for it, or under whose orders it was constructed. Other than that, we and the Daily News appear completely in the know about the public’s business.
It’s another shameful display of high-headedness that seems to put Mingo officials above the law and above the concerns of their constituents. But at least the inmates should be pleased they get this much attention.