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The age-old question

Op Ed by Ron Hayes, with F.I.G.H.T.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, does it make a noise? Is one person worth more than another? Is justice really blind? All questions pondered for centuries.  Look at two cases to see if we can answer a couple of these questions. Mr. Pius E. Hobbs death in December of 2016 and Detective Mengedoht’s death in December 2018. Both were killed on the job.  The dump truck driver, Gene Smallwood, that backed over Mr. Hobbs walked away from the scene, no charges. The truck driver, Mr. Roger Burdett was taken away from Detective Mengedoht’s scene in handcuffs, charged with Murder and is still in jail for the death. There were many differences in these investigations. Det. Mengedoht’s killer was given a sobriety test, her case was handled correctly. Mr. Hobbs’ case was not handled correctly. Detective Mengedoht’s case had lots of publicity. Mr. Hobbs’ case had none.  Kentucky Labor Cabinet had no problems with Meade County, said they did nothing wrong. Three Federal investigations now say, that was a mistake. Mr. Smallwood was not fired; Mr. Burdett was fired. Kentucky Labor Cabinet # 318076981  That sad December day Mr. Hobbs was killed, Mr. Smallwood did not have a valid CDL license, he did not have his medical card, he did not have an endorsement to drive that truck, he did not have a proper back up alarm and he was taking medication, oxycodone and cyclobenzaprine. No Murder charges, nothing, no justice. Who was covering for Smallwood? This information is in the State Police report #71917094. Mr. Burdett had all the proper credentials but admitted to taking a prescription drug. Yes, he was charged with murder and 4 counts of reckless endangerment. He is still in jail.  Yes, a police officer job is dangerous, and I very much respect the police and what they do every day. But shouldn’t the law be fair? Shouldn’t everyone be treated equal?  Why hasn’t Mr. Smallwood been charged with anything? Someone needs to ask The Kentucky Attorney General Office. We have tried for several years now, with no luck. There are many of these case each year in Kentucky.  Everything went wrong that day Mr. Hobbs was killed. It was one error after another: lack of proper training, lack of proper oversight by Meade County officials, and after the death, the problems, kept on coming: false stories told, information not shared, no one did the right thing and handled the case or family properly.  Det. Mengedoht’s case was just the opposite, everything was over handled, because she was a police officer. So, the question is, is a police officer worth more than a county road worker? It looks that way. Is justice really blind?  None of this will ever get fixed unless the citizens of Meade County demand action, also the citizens of Meade county should make sure the correct actions are followed. Remember this could happen to your family next. I will tell you this, when you are going to school or church, when you see one of the county trucks coming toward you, think about what happened to Mr. Hobbs. A driver unfit to drive his truck killed someone and was not charged with any wrongdoing. Is that really the kind of justice we want? You should demand proper action be taken. Someone needs to be held accountable in this case.




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