A sadder display

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 11:13 AM.

And that Oct. 25 meeting essentially closed the extortion file to the public, with only those accusations from that bruising 20 minutes in the air.

What was already a public record became a non-public record after the meeting because, according to the file, the investigation was reopened to revisit various aspects of the case – the PIO called it “new information”  - due to a number of “phone calls” after the “heated discussion” of  the meeting.

That new information was limited to one person, Garth, and represented a legal issue going back some 40 years that as Garth has stated was, to his understanding, long-ago resolved.

It had nothing to do with the extortion case and was known to investigators, according to the file, when Hess closed the case in October. Garth and any voter qualification issue were not mentioned Oct. 16.

So, there is a fair conclusion to draw about what was involved - politics, with a twist.

Maybe there are those who do not think sending a letter or conveying a message to a county commissioner requesting they step aside due to a conflict of interest found in state law – and which is the subject of an ongoing state Ethics Commission probe – is not appropriate.

But neither is using taxpayer time and money to the same ends, as the Oct. 25 meeting, in hindsight, was as much about “dirty politics” as anything the PAC did and the timing and results support that conclusion.

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