Back in late 2019 and early 2020, some pretty powerful politicians and their cronies were trying to discredit and “put the final nail in the coffin” of both The Messenger and myself for exposing the ugly underbelly of their leadership. It’s one thing to disagree with my opinion pieces, but it’s something far different to come after my job, slander my name, and go on the airwaves to call me a liar and this paper a sensationalizing rag just because we exposed some of our leaders as liars and lawbreakers. Well, the court system is finally backing up the facts of malfeasance that this paper uncovered two years ago. The politicians’ chickens are finally coming home to roost, and an “I told you so” is in order.
The very first article I wrote for this paper detailed how former Judge Gerry Lynn and the Fiscal Court illegally removed two members of the Riverport Authority Board who would not go along with Lynn and Industrial Development Authority Chairman David Pace’s desire to dissolve the county’s contract with Consolidated Grain and Barge to make way for Nucor. I also wrote a later article about violations of the Open Meetings Act. Everyone from State Representative Nancy Tate to Republican Party officer Joe Redmon joined with Lynn and others, turning to everything from the local radio station to a faux newspaper to spread lies, disinformation and slander about the Messenger and myself in hopes of silencing this paper.
This past August, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals sided with the dismissed Riverport Authority Board members and the farmers. Judge Lynn and the Meade County Fiscal Court violated the KRS at least five times in the Court’s opinion. KRS stands for Kentucky Revised Statutes which is the name given to the body of laws that govern the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This means that the three judges on the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that Lynn and his magistrates broke the law multiple times. This also means that neither this paper nor myself were slandering anyone’s good name when we reported two years ago that Lynn, the Magistrates, the city of Brandenburg and the Meade County Fiscal Court were doing just that.
In fact, what we were actually doing was putting in the investigative work to bring the citizens of Meade County the real truth about what was going on behind closed doors and having our good names slandered by the corrupting power of politicians who couldn’t handle their constituents knowing the real truth.
The largest tragedy of this whole fiasco is that, instead of just admitting they were wrong and taking their lumps, the politicians decided to fight the farmers, the board members and this paper in hopes of covering up their misdeeds. As a result, there have been a whole lot of legal fees accrued in the meantime to hold the Fiscal Court accountable for breaking the law. Since they have now lost their case and been exposed for breaking the law, they will be held accountable for the legal fees of the defendants. It will be interesting to see just how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the taxpayers of Meade County will ultimately have to pay once the dust settles to atone for the sins of a former Judge Executive, Industrial Development Authority, group of magistrates and other elected officials who were either so arrogant that they felt they were above the law or too incompetent to simply follow the law.
Furthermore, it surely didn’t age well, but I would like to take this time to share a snip-it from the fake newspaper the MC Republican Party sent out to mailboxes across Meade County last fall prior to the election. Instead of telling Meade County what they would do for the citizens if elected, they unleashed their vice president on this paper and yours truly in a slanderous diatribe of smut attempting to undermine the credibility of this paper. Here is an excerpt:
“State Representative Nancy Tate and the late Judge executive Gerry Lynn worked tirelessly to keep Nucor on schedule to make their investments in our community real. The newspaper has opposed this process at every turn while trying to convince the community our leadership has somehow done something illegal or unethical with regard to Nucor. The Messenger has abused its public trust in a crassly partisan fashion.”
Well, the proof is now in the pudding. Yes, this newspaper tried to convince the community that our leadership had done something illegal and unethical in regard to Nucor because THEY DID do something illegal and unethical. It just took the Courts two years to finally catch up to our reporting.
Fortunately for the people of Meade County, the Messenger and its staff weren’t afraid to suffer the wrath of the partisan hacks who were the true abusers of public trust in order to keep our citizens informed on what’s really going on in their county.