COOKEVILLE, Tenn. [August 10, 1998]
- The voters have spoken, but what have they said?
Civil rights lawsuits, hospital woes, unsolved
murders, pornography viewing on the city's Internet account, theft from
prisoners, litigation payoffs, obstructions of justice, willful destruction
of government records, ticket-fixing, forced annexation of private property,
abuse of public funds by the district attorney general, suicide in jail,
refusal by the city attorney to make public his expense records and terrorism
of police officers by their captain make you wonder what voters were thinking.
Were they endorsing this pattern of official contempt for law?
Incredibly, I received a message from Court
Clerk Lewis Coomer
suggesting that I publish the fact that he won re-election by a wide
margin over his opponents.
It may be true, as far as we know without
actually counting the votes ourselves, Coomer was re-elected Aug. 6.
Does this mean Coomer starts with a clean
slate? Not with The Putnam Pit.
Coomer would have us think that being re-elected
is the same as being absolved of guilt. It is not the same, as Richard
Coomer and his pals control the judicial process in Putnam County and this tainted justice system has had terrible consequences for Putnam County.
Coomer wants you to know he has been re-elected;
that for his 20 years in office he has had spotless audits. I have not
seen all of his audits and they may all be perfect, but I know this: Lewis
Coomer used his office to collect money that he was not authorized to collect.
No one who has money due them forgives Coomer because he was re-elected.
It doesn't matter whether Coomer kept the
money for himself or passed it over to the county; it is not either of
their money. It belongs to people who have the right to not be shaken down
by Coomer and his tainted justice center.
Lewis, give the money back and we'll do
lunch. Until then, don't look for a honeymoon.