The Times Journal & Russell County News
Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Spirited discussion over fate of board chairman
In Nov. 13-19 Issue

"I came to see how bad they were going to mess him over," said Beverly Kelsey. "You know how things happen in this county."

Others in the crowd gathered to show their support of Beckham Wilson nodded in agreement.

The twenty or so members of the audience stood quietly waiting for the hearing and then sat quietly through the proceedings as first County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner listed his reasons Wilson should be removed from his position on the Ambulance Board.

Then they listened with more interest and smiles as Attorney Jeff Hoover questioned Garner on the merits of his charges against Wilson.

"I asked Beckham to resign from the ambulance board," Garner said. "I felt like with him being chairman a lot of stuff was not being done in the proper manner."

Garner accused him of being negligent and inefficient in performance of his duties. Garner's list of grievances were that proper votes were not being held, that he was not citing the proper Kentucky law before entering executive session and he alleged that actions discussed in executive session were being acted on without a vote in open session.

During his presentation Jeff Hoover, who was representing Wilson in the hearing, stopped the judge with an objection that he was straying into matters not listed in the letter and therefore not relevant to the present hearing.

"You stated that some issues were not voted on," Hoover asked Garner. "Were you present?"

When Garner said he was there Hoover asked if he'd said anything to Wilson, if he knew the meeting was not being conducted as he felt it should be.

Garner again answered no.

Hoover asked the same questions of the other alleged violations and in each case Garner said he either was there or may have been, and never raised the questions at the meetings.

The attorney suggested that the "procedural" problems Garner had sited did not reach the level necessary to remove Wilson from the board even if they were proven.

Hoover moved on to the legal definition of an ambulance board member, going down the requirements and asking Garner one by one if Wilson had violated any of them.

Garner responded no to all save the question about the requirement to maintaining proper staffing for the ambulance service. He contended that one of the executive session issues he had mentioned earlier related to pay for employees and therefore he felt it did violate that section.

"At any time you have been County Judge was there ever an occasion when there were not enough employees to man the ambulance," Hoover asked.

Garner's reply was "no."

He again stressed that Garner's complaint's seemed to be based on procedural issues and asked the judge if he was aware of the laws regarding governmental meetings.

Hoover later asked why it was that there was a quorum of the fiscal court at the hearing, even though it was not posted as a meeting of the court. Though he didn't mention it the fact is that there was also a quorum of the fiscal court in attendance at the last ambulance board meeting, and that also was not posted as a fiscal court meeting.

Hoover again stressed that what Garner agreed were procedural issues were not sufficient to move for Wilson from the board. He went on to ask again why, if Garner felt these were so serious, that he'd not said anything when he saw the issues arise.

Malfeasance, conflict of interest and neglect, are the causes in the law cited by Garner for asking for Wilson's removal. Hoover contended that none of the allegations rose to anything near that level an asked that Wilson be allowed to continue serving in the un-paid position he was appointed to on the board.

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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