Washington DC had Watergate, now Loudon County has Picturegate or something like that. This is a fun story for several reasons. First I get to tell the facts and second it shows just how small and petty some people are.

A couple or three months ago employees and customers at the Loudon County Courthouse Annex,  arrived at the building to find a new picture that had mysteriously showed up hanging on the wall. In fact it was a large picture hanging above the stairwell where anyone who came in the front door couldn't help but see it. It was an old picture of Doyle Arp, Riley Wampler, Fred Chaney and the late J.D. Click who use to be the county trustee. It was a vintage picture that looked like it may have been taken twenty or thirty years ago.

To be honest, it was kind of spooky sight to be greeted with when you walked in and you couldn't miss it. No one seemed to know who hung the picture but everybody, employees and customers alike, were in agreement that it was really out of place hanging in a public building. As complaints and concerns continued to mount, then trustee now mayor, Estelle Herron finally decided enough was enough. She took the picture down to the pleasure of everyone in full view of Arp's security cameras I might add.

Well, it wasn't long before word around the county offices was that now former mayor Doyle Arp was furious about the missing picture and heads were going to roll. At least one of the photo four contacted the county IT employee and they spent a half a day reviewing video from the security cameras posted in the Annex to find out who took down the picture. After hours of searching they had their culprit.

This is the good part. Mr. Arp and others from the photo four actually went to the Loudon Police Department to file a complaint about the missing picture. The police officer, to his good credit and I'm sure realizing just how silly this was, went to Ms. Herron to ask her about the picture. Ms. Herron opened her closet and pulled out the picture. She gave it to the police officer to return to whomever.

That concludes the story of the missing picture.

No one is still sure who hung the picture or why. Maybe it was meant to be kind of like a shrine to certain former county officials or just a reminder of....I don't know what.  I'm sure Ms. Herron would have been glad to give to picture to whoever it belonged to if anyone had known who hung it or if any of those who wanted it had just asked her for it. 

I think it's safe to say that at least a small segment of the good old boy system in Loudon County has hit a snag.