still hot; Anonymous chat boxes criticized
still hot; Anonymous chat boxes criticized
Bob Rhoades uses 'attack' to make his point
an uneventful Monday meeting and Wednesday regular session, Darke
Citizens Karyl Parks, and Bob and Peggy Rhoades addressed the
during the Wednesday Public Attendees Comments.
questions/comments were regarding the Melody Lucas statement that was
published on County News Online, then published in other local media.
she had several concerns but decided she “would spare everybody a lot
agenda” that she had. She added, in general, that there seemed to be
conflict of information, noting that they would say “one thing one week
something else another week.”
there has been a “breach of public faith” from the Commissioners.
people are human and make mistakes but that it is important that people
from them. She wanted everyone to learn from them instead of “spending
effort and money to covering them up.”
If you have
the power to do what’s right, then you have an absolute obligation to
right, she added.
Mike Rhoades said “thank you.”
of Tiger Radio noted the Lucas posting on the Darke Journal, asking if
the Commissioners had read it. Rhoades said no. Commissioner Mike
he read it on County News Online and that it didn’t mean a lot to him,
that it was her opinion. Commissioner Diane Delaplane said she read it,
“We dealt with it and we’re moving on.”
said that someone verbally attacked him on one of the “chat boxes”
an old wound. He said other people have told him the intent was to
him and his family because he had been vocal about this issue.
person did was lead some credence to everything that has been said
office the last two weeks,” Rhoades said. “My wife pled guilty to
office’ ... under the not-so-watchful eye of her bosses, the previous
He went on
to note that she was charged with one felony count and sentenced to
months of community sanctions, lost her pension and paid back every
was owed to this county.
support from her family and friends she has moved on from the incident.”
Auditor’s Office was involved and charged the Board to come up with
checks and balances regarding county employees, he said.
occasion and surroundings of Ms. Mong’s departure make it obvious this
done.” He added that one person was prosecuted on one offense and
offenses go un-prosecuted even though it was alleged that there were
point perhaps telling the truth, no matter who it hurts, might work. It did for my wife. Disclosure of the facts
dismissal of June Mong, and the subsequent hiring of an un-qualified
her replacement, need to be forth coming as soon as possible,” Rhoades
Rhoades then asked Mrs. (Peggy) Rhoades if she had anything to say.
want to make this perfectly clear because it did come up on Darke
night and I want everyone to know that I did, at no time did I think
was wrong to prosecute me, I deserved to be prosecuted.
I want everyone to know that I did pay
the money and I did do my punishment and I get very upset when I talk
this. I am now
paying for it the second
time because it is being brought up ... I just wish you would do
about June Mong because she did do a felony, and maybe more than just
then thanked everyone and the meeting was adjourned.
Bob Rhoades later sent the prepared information he used in the meeting. It reads as follows:
"Just to set the
record straight so that no one else thinks I’m not being straight
forward, someone last night calling themselves ST3 did a blitz attack
on the Darke Journal Chat Box concerning an incident that involved my
wife in 1997. ST3 then immediately went and hid as so many brave
souls on there do. What ST3 actually did was two things. First
proved that there is at the very least a double standard if not triple
or quadruple standard. Second, it gave my wife an opportunity to
get on the Chat and confirm everything that ST 23 said, except for one
thing! My wife was prosecuted, paid back every red cent, lost her
state pension, spent three months on house arrest. She apologized
to everyone, including our friends. A state audit was done and
she also took part in the audit showing the auditors where the money
was taken from and how easy it was, so easy in fact that her office
survived for a couple of years through state audits. The county
auditor’s office had no clue.
"At the time, the
commissioner’s office was told that any people who were direct reports
to their office as she was should have a set of checks and balances in
place so that this doesn’t happen again. I guess we know how that
"I didn’t want to
bring it up again. Since ST3 did, I think it’s a good
thing. Melody (Lucas) has become the poster child for what
happens to whistle blowers even though everything was handled well, and
my wife has become the poster child for owning up to your mistakes,
taking the punishment, and moving on. Thanks for pointing that
Minutes to this meeting will be posted on