Stonewalling Seldom Works

If anyone wants a lesson in the futility of stalling your way to public relations success, they need only look at the past eight months in Marion County.

When horrid conditions Dixie Animal Shelter were exposed, Marion County Humane Society, dba Dixie Humane Society, President Brooklynn LaFleur attempted, first, to blame the whistleblower, Gayle Robinson, then attempted to pretend everything was under control while freezers of dead dogs were discovered.

Granted LaFleur may not have been fully informed when she put on a brave face for the cameras, but the net result was personal embarrassment and irrelevancy for her organization.

Marion County Sheriff David McKnight refused to admit he made the dumb ’’Elmer” Facebook post. Copies of text messages secured by the Jimplecute through a Texas Public Information Act request finally revealed McKnight as the author of this insult.

The sheriff would have been much smarter to have stepped forward with the truth and an apology. McKnight continues to stall, delaying the release of routine information like who was arrested last week when the law clearly states you are entitled to see these reports.

McKnight and Assistant County Attorney Bill Gleason wish to recall Dixie Operator Caroline Wedding’s past service to the county and refuse to face the depth of the disaster in December.

It is difficult to see the failings of old friends and associates, but circumstances require it from those who lead our community. Jefferson Police Department also at first attempted to blame the messenger, but Chief Gary Amburn admitted at last week’s city council meeting that he had been “lax” in keeping tabs on Dixie.

Amburn suggested the time had come to move forward. Most in the room agreed.

Marion County also has a problem when convicted felons like Daniel E. Pierce, III walk around with machetes when arrest warrants are out against them. Supposedly, the problem is jail overcrowding.

A long-term solution of either a new jail or an expanded jail may develop soon, but the county can pay to have prisoners housed in other counties now removing the scofflaws off the streets.

The pattern is clear. Bad things happen when authorities stonewall. We hope something even worse does not happen because warrants go unserved.



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