Ordeal Explained

Hopefully you have already read the previous News Herald Article and their editorial. If not this may not make any since.

The News Herald took great issue with the fact that it took them nearly three months to get a requested email from an attorney. News Herald staff had apparently decided that there must be some big story hidden in that email. I myself had told them there was no information in that email that they didn't already know and had been discussed in public meetings. But they just couldn't give it up.

Well, they finally got the email so their whole article turned into a story of how it took them three months to get an email that had no story in it. All that's fine and they may be justified in being upset over having to wait so long. Here's my problem.

In the article and even more so in their editorial they went to great effort to try to paint the county as having done something wrong when the county had nothing to do with their email problem. It was an email between two lawyers and was never sent to any county officials till well after the fact. Both law firms have Electronic Communications Policy on their emails which speak to privacy and confidentiality. Even if county officials had had copies of the email when the News Herald was wanting it, by law those officials couldn't have given it out without approval of the attorneys.

The News Herald also took issue with county officials having an executive session with our attorneys, suggesting those discussions should have been held in open session. One could argue that the closed door session where commissioners can ask questions of their attorney could have led to the county avoiding having to pay a half million dollars per year in fees to the Tellico Village POA.

I feel the News Herald was very unfair in criticizing commissioners and even more so the mayor for doing everything in our legal authority to avoid such an unfair and unnecessary expense to the tax payers.

As I said before, the email in question was between and in possession of two attorneys so by all means, take issue with the attorneys, but don't try to drag commission and the mayor into the feud. We're just doing the best we can to do right by our constituents.