By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Jan. 16, 2013 — Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace and Magistrate Clifford Roe came out swinging, often in an adversarial tone, at Tuesday’s meeting of Carter Fiscal Court.
At the meeting’s outset, Roe heavily criticized Ashland Daily Independent reporter Tim Preston for a Dec. 19 article containing allegations by Carter Jailer R.W. Boggs that Roe had verbally abused a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Service during a telephone conversation.
“He wrote a slurry and slanderous article about me in the paper. There has been no proof that I have cussed anyone. In fact, the judge has called Washington to check this out,” Roe said.
“I talked to the deputy director of the Marshal’s Service and he said that Mr. Roe did not say anything out of the way,” Judge Wallace responded.
Due to illness, Preston was unable to attend the meeting and respond to the allegations of inaccurate reporting.
When Boggs attempted to speak in defense of his own comments in the article, Wallace and Roe quickly became angry, cutting off his statements and accusing him of intentionally trying to disrupt the meeting.
Throwing more fuel onto the fire, Roe then read a letter from what he claimed was an anonymous party that was very critical of the jailer.
The letter made references to the Boggs’ ability to manage the jail budget and went so far as to include information concerning the jailer’s personal business.
“On what grounds does a man stand and read an anonymous letter that is unsigned, that libels any individual in this county? This is ridiculous!” said Roger Whitehead in response to Roe’s comments.
“Mr. Boggs’s personal life does not need to be brought up in front of this court or this county. There’s no sense in it. I’m not taking sides for anybody but we need to stop this garbage and get back to the public’s business,” added former magistrate Millard Cordell.
Wallace and Roe also threatened to remove Mignon Colley from the meeting room for smiling and laughing; claiming it was disruptive to the meeting.
They also were critical of her comments on Facebook in recent months regarding the Fiscal Court’s behavior.
“My Facebook page should not be of interest to the Fiscal Court. If you want to discuss that, you can talk about it after the meeting, where it’s appropriate,” Colley said.
Wallace then accused the Journal-Times of being deliberately misleading in its reporting of payments to outside legal counsel from an account used to pay salaries of child support workers, asserting that it was simply a clerical error and had been corrected.
Court members unanimously approved the transfer of $40,000 from reserves to a newly-created account for paying fees of outside legal counsel.
After the fireworks subsided, the Fiscal Court approved the county’s monthly claims and financial statements, and accepted two bids from King Creek Drilling for repair work on two road projects.
The next regular meeting of Carter Fiscal Court is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the courthouse.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.