Magistrates are ‘breaking the law’


Response: During a discussion in my office about various personnel items, Magistrates Flatt, Reeder, and Coffey recommended that I fire my Deputy Judge-Executive, Bridget, who has worked in this office since 2016.
Bridget is not only the Deputy Judge, she is the Solid Waste Coordinator, Road Administrator, and serves as my executive assistant. No clear explanation was given as to why this lady, who has worked for 3 Judges, with so much experience deserved to be fired.
Because of their apparent dislike for her helping me, the magistrates refuse to set her salary as Deputy and they’re breaking the law.
Per KRS 67.711, “...the county judge/executive of any county may appoint a deputy county judge/executive. The fiscal court… shall fix reasonable compensation for the deputy county judge/executive…” According to my attorney, the word “may” implies that it is the Judge’s decision to hire a Deputy; however, the word “shall” implies the Court doesn’t have a choice but to set the reasonable salary. This Court has proven time and time again that they will pay reasonably IF they like you or you bring value to them politically; but you will not get compensated “reasonably” if not.
Response: The Judge can legally meet with no more than two magistrates. In previous administrations, the Judge consulted with two magistrates before the public meeting to review the agenda and discuss items. Those two magistrates would go talk to the other magistrates.
This is just a backdoor way to iron out everything, making the meetings a nice show for the public. I’m not opposed to that, but the magistrates would have to agree, which they haven’t as of yet. Regardless, the votes are always public, not hidden from the public.
Response: I include myself in that since I never planned on running for a second term. I do believe my term will have shown the public just how important their magistrate vote is, though. As you can see, four magistrates control all the County decisions.

With regards to plotting, I have had discussions with magistrates who come to me to discuss a topic and we come to an agreement. Then in the FC Meeting, they do just the opposite. I do not like dishonesty, as it makes me look uninformed and out of the loop, which seems to be the goal of this particular plot. I come from a time when a man’s word meant something.
With regards to the hiring of the Fiscal Court Clerk, they went against their own Admin Code as they executed their plot to force me to work with one of my most vocal haters on social media. When magistrates have made statements about trying to get me upset enough to have a health event that would put me out of office, that’s not just plotting, but that’s evil, in my opinion.

I have seen magistrates give direct orders to my office staff and even cuss my office staff. Magistrate Denton personally overruled the Court decision regarding my office staff going to The Judge’s Conference.
If I had overruled a court decision, I would have been hung. Section 2.6 C of Adair County’s Administrative Code states, “...to assure an unbroken line of authority in the day to day execution of county programs, the fiscal court also has a responsibility to avoid direct contact with county department personnel...” Additionally, the DLG manual states, “...When the fiscal court is adjourned, magistrates… possess no administrative or executive power in relation to county government (OAG 78-402 and 78-529).”
A few magistrates disregard these laws and would have been fired for insubordination at a normal job. But, they have no accountability and no one dares to question them, except me. And when I do, it makes them mad, and the next plot begins. Because it is not in my nature to plot and strategize, my reaction to their deception is often defensive.
Response: I respect everyone, even if I don’t always agree with their viewpoint. But, it is difficult for me to respect people who have served on this Fiscal Court for several terms and have allowed this county to get in such a financial shape. First and foremost, I respect the people of this county that I was elected to represent. I try to do my best to achieve the desires that they have expressed to me.
I hope my responses have helped you understand a little more about what the laws of Kentucky say about how a local government should be run and why you may see me at my most frustrating times.
Also, please keep in mind that you are witness to a few hours that have been staged by about 5 people, in hopes to cause a record number of views and does NOT illustrate the daily business of Adair County.
I had to learn in the first 6 months of my political career that big steps weren’t going to be possible…I felt deflated and, yes, I got upset. I have apologized for those outbursts.
Now I realize that even if the steps are small, at least we would be moving forward together. We still have 2 ½ years; but I fear that the majority of the Court’s desire to see change and progress in Adair County is not strong enough to overcome their hatred of the man who dares to challenge their political comfort zone.

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