June 14, 2002
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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SUBPOENAED
AMBULANCE FEE DEAD @ CLAY COUNTY COMMISSION
The Chafin Report
Fire Takes Out Buildings
CDC RECORDS SUBPOENAED!
Did You Know
Capito Statement on Shero Casualty
OWNERSHIP CASE GOES TO COURT: NO ANSWERS YET!
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SUBPOENAED
Clay County=s Business Development Authority (BDA) met in regular session June 6, 5 PM, at the Courthouse. Members present: Chair Paige Willis, Glada Lanham, Norman Wilson, Jim Knots, Dave Derby, Jerry Nelson, Mike Evans, along with three or so in the peanut gallery. Note: Just before the meeting opened, Brett Stover entered the meeting room, laid a large manila envelope on the front table, and left.
From the peanut gallery Frank Murphy asked the BDA to consider entering into an agreement with the Clay County Bank and work together to salvage the Filcon, Inc. building and property before the bank sells the holdings at auction. Murphy felt that the building could be completed with another $150,000.00 and according to Murphy, the Clay County Bank would loan the BDA the money. Chair Willis,@ The thing is in litigation, talk to our attorney..@ Mr. Murphy said it was just a suggestion and felt that the building could offer a good business location for some other venture in the future. No answers given the Murphster who then left the meeting.
Willis mentioned that subpoenas had been handed out by someone from attorney Wayne King=s office. Resigned secretary Steve Zaricki had been served earlier in the day. With BDA attorney Barbara Schamberger now in the room, the female process server handed out the subpoenas to all members present at the meeting. Oh it=s tough being a volunteer in Clayberry!
Schamberger, sounding like she was having a bad day, asked the ace cub reporter to leave the room as well as all non BDA members. The reply, A Not until there is a motion to do so...@ Paige Willis then called the meeting to order and Norman Wilson made the motion to go secret.
As the peanut gallery was leaving, Schamberger, referring to previous reporting in this paper, commented that they were going into an executive session, not a secret time. That secret referred to a meeting away from a public setting. Reporter Waddell disagreed with Schamberger=s assessment of the terminology. As the peanutsters were leaving around 5:09, Willis could be heard explaining that Stover had come in earlier and left off all the Treasurer=s paperwork except the BDA checkbook.
Now outside and looking in through the glass doors, attorney Barbara Schamberger was standing up front and talking. Just a few minutes into the secret time, Deputy Rider came to the door and with Schamberger left the room. In the hallway, Schamberger,@ You need me?@ Rider, Come over here and I=ll show you.@ Both went into the Sheriff=s office for a few minutes.
Perhaps shed had a bad day, but as Ms Schamberger reentered the BDA=s meeting, again mention was made that this was NOT a secret meeting but rather an executive session, Waddell,@ Are you keeping minutes? Ms Schamberger, A We don=t have to.@ Waddell, A The code says minutes are to be kept...@ As the door closed behind her, Ms Schamberger said something about the record, A will be appropriate..@
With Barbara back up front and plying her trade, Norman Wilson could be seen up and walking around the room.
30 minutes after going secret, the meeting was again opened to the public. BDA oked the minutes from their May 20th special meeting called to begin legal proceedings against the Clay County Bank in an attempt to stop a foreclosure sale by the bank. Schamberger asked if Jerry Sizemore would be the appropriate person to talk to about the Filcon issue at the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ). With an affirmative nod, Schamberger said no more during the meeting.
Willis told the BDA folks that behind the scenes work was continuing on acquiring property north of Big Otter along Interstate 79. Willis said that the property location and owner=s name was being kept secret. From the back of the room Elizabeth Sampson said that she had seen the property listed in newspaper classifieds and it was no real secret that the land was for sale. Willis did advance: there is 100 acres available, access road estimates are in and are $300.00 per lineal foot, the power company had turned in a estimate to get 3 phase power to the site, and CAEZ would proceed with the project.
When member Dave Derby asked if an option to purchase had been secured for the property, Willis replied that CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore didn=t want to yet, and ,@ It=s his baby!@ From the back came other comments to secure the land now instead of waiting until someone else snatches it out from under the land challenged BDA. Willis, A The balls in his court.@ Ms Sampson challenged that statement contending that since the county pays $30,000.00 to the CAEZ, the county was in charge, not Sizemore.
With Stover now bailed out and BDA secretary Steve Zaricki resigned , discussion came up on replacements. Norman Wilson,@ We=ve got too many now!@ Willis seemed to concur but commented that that did not seem to matter to the CCC when they appointed two extras to the group, two extras over the 12 member cap required by the agency=s bylaws. Willis expressed his view that the more you have on a committee , the harder it is,@ to get something passed.@ Election of officers will be held in July.
In old business, Jerry Nelson reported that his efforts to acquire Barringer Trust land for a county firing range had Astruck out.@ Nelson, ASeems like someone made Mr. Barringer mad in this county.@ The group laughed. It appeared that Nelson was referring to the Tim Butcher lawsuit against Barringer Trust Land man Matt Coronet. The suit stemmed from a letter that was sent to the CCC concerning a haphazard structure built on the land and pot (marijuana) growing nearby the structure. The suit was handled out of court according to attorney Kevin Duffy. Glada Lanham reported that 37 acres owned by Ken Butcher may be available for the firing range.
|About the only good news reported during the BDA meeting came from Fred Sampson during his Bee Run Dam update. According to Mr. Sampson, the prognosis looks good for a dam to finally be started this summer and maybe in August. Sampson said nothing 100% yet, but it now appeared that the project was financially doable and the DNR was supporting the efforts of the one guy in the county that pursed the recreational enhancement, community activist and one time senatorial candidate Fred Sampson. By 6 it was all over and the gathering dispersed.
AMBULANCE FEE DEAD @ CLAY COUNTY COMMISSION
Probably the most contentious issue ever to cross the Clay County Commission=s (CCC) desk has been finally been put to pasture. During the June 11 CCC meeting our elected ones, minus Tim Butcher, voted the $25.00 ambulance fee dead.
With Commission President Matthew Bragg at the helm and assisted by Jimmy Sams the regular session of the body opened at 10 am with Sams offering the Christian prayer. 10 or so sat in the peanut gallery to watch the historic moment. Just prior to the opening of the meeting, whispers were circulating around that lame duck Commissioner Tim Butcher was close to announcing his resignation.
Before the ambulance fee vote, number 14 on the posted agenda, Commission business included approving erroneous assessments, passing the previous meeting minutes, approving payment of bills and budget revisions. Additionally approved: probated the will of George Bauer Jr; Blandus Gay Keener, Administratrix of the estate of Matthew Kelly Keener; Paul Smarr Administrator of the estate of Christina Dawn Smarr; John C Rogers , Administrator of the estate of Rufus Ray Rogers; Maureen Hardman, Administratrix of the estate of Glenna Baker; Phyllis Morton, Ancillary Administratrix of the estate of Apollonia M. Scheibach.
Motioned and passed the contract to pay Health Department utilities on a quarterly basis. Oked the appointment of Frank R. Coleman, Guardian for Daniel M. Coleman. And a bunch more blah blah blah... Now the good stuff.
Item 10 called for the reappointment to county committees which included: Mary Lou Devlin back to the Health Dept. Board; Melody Reed back to the Library Board; Harald Fields reappointed to the Solid Waste Authority; Joyce Gibson, Ron Sirk, and R.T. Sizemore back to Parks and Recreation; and, Glada Lanham, Jimmy Sams, Clarke Samples Jr., David Derby and Arthur Jarrett back on the Business Development Authority. Bragg acknowledged that Brett Stover resigned from the spot citing conflict of interest issues. Cookie Johnson was reappointed to the 911 Advisory Board and CCC will try and get a state police representative to the board.
Zillion time sheriff candidate Randy Holcomb requested to be appointed as the E 911 director replacing resigned Barry Curry who replaced Paige Willis last month. Currently the position is a non paid voluntary appointment. The room was quiet. Sams was first to speak up raising concerns that Holcomb has a conflict of issue since he does 911 radio installations for the county. Some in the crowd have speculated that the 911 director position will soon be turned into a full time paid arrangement and Holcomb was actually vying for that soon to be spot.
And then, almost without discussion, the 10 year plus $25.00 ambulance fee became history. Sams, A The $25.00 fee is not working..@ Since it=s inception, through a Supreme Court challenge which drastically changed the guts of the fee, on through the county wide boycott which resulted in way less than 50% of the county paying the then mandatory $25.00, County Commissioners struggled to find a less controversial way to finance basic emergency services in the county.
Sams went on to say that since the county only has one emergency services station in the county, and now that Jan Care, Kanawha, and others are responding to the county=s needs and NOT accepting the $25.00 fee in return for services provided, the fee needed gone. Both behind the scenes ( away from the public) and finally in public, our Commissioners knew that since the ambulance service no longer covers the entire county, the fee had to go.
Motion by Sams, second by Bragg and the motion to do away with the $25.00 Emergency Ambulance Service fee was finally off the books. Sams said that anyone that had paid the fee will still be covered for the full 12 months.
As for the Punkineers in attendance, no new answers. Melissa Postelwait made mention that the WV Public Service Commission was holding a hearing on the issues she brought up on J.D. Morris getting water service ahead of all others in the county and the competency and training of the Clay Roane PSD board members.
Mention also made that lingering problems with right of ways along the Amma - Left Hand water line extension project in Roane County are continuing to delay the project start date. Sams also commented that he had not seen anything new in writing on the long delayed ( and probably dead) Clay Regional Water Plant).
|With Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Schamberger now in the room, the CCC went into secret session to hear a juvenile matter.
By Don Greene
Do our political campaigns actually highlight and define the differences between the candidates and parties? Is there actually any difference between the candidates and parties any more? Or have both the parties and the candidates become little more than cartoon caricatures of politicians?
How long has it been since the voters really had a choice between candidates with truly different visions? Don't all of our candidates have basically the same vision? Isn't their collective goal about the same? Don't they all want to maintain the status quo, expand the bureaucracy and create even more patronage jobs? Don't they all want to cater to the same old industries and throw even more money down the same old rat-holes?
Isn't the major difference between candidates and parties simply a matter of whose friends will be catered to the most? In the long run will it make any difference who is elected? Whatever the outcome on Election Day, won't the winners soon realize that they are helpless pawns of the bureaucracy and corporations?
Does anyone even know an elected official that has some sort of vision for the future, beyond being elected again? If any of our officials had any other goal for the future would they continue to spend good money after bad? If these poor two-dimensional creatures had any vision whatsoever, wouldn't we have seen some evidence of it by now?
What we are able to see is a huge, over funded bureaucracy that makes its' own rules and only answers to itself. What we can see is a lack of sensible, logical development of infrastructure throughout the state. What can be seen is a government that is the largest employer. What can be seen is a bi-annual dog and pony show that will have no positive impact on anything.
Aren't the inevitable campaign signs little more than the tombstones on the graves of the democratic process? Aren't they nothing more than the symbols of our commitment to the continuation of the ways things have always been?
If West Virginia is ever going to be able to deal with its' current problems and begin to be able to deal with those of the future, we have to bring a halt to this cartoonish situation. We have to bring candidates to the public that actually have some difference between them. We must have options for the future and we must have a vision of our future, one way or the other.
The Chafin Report by Jim Chafin "A Massive Conflict of Interest"
Relatively speaking, the United States of America is a young player on the world stage. Our entire history of 225 years occupies a time frame LESS THAN THE DECLINING YEARS that culminated with the demise of the mighty Roman Empire. America, like the Roman system, seemingly sees the faults of every other nation on this globe but is oblivious to it=s own blunders, mistakes, and shortcomings as pertains to its own performance in world affairs. This, the richest nation on this earth in terms of natural resources is seen as a wastrel in the eyes of the majority of world peoples; it is seen by others as being all mouth and no ears. In its beginnings, America, with all it=s promises of liberty and equality, stood at one extreme and Rome at the other end of the spectrum. The principle of Rome was (is) that religion and government are inseparable; while the principle of government in the United States is (was) that religion and government are distinct and totally separate. The principle of Rome is abject slavery of the mind, whereas the principle of the United States is absolute freedom of the mind. It was the springing forth of Christianity that first and always antagonized this governmental principle of Rome, and established the governing principle of the United State of America. But America=s love affair with commercialism and corporate denial of individual rights espoused by such pursuits has eroded it=s sense of humanity and has blunted it=s drive for freedom of the human spirit. America needs to listen anew to the words of Macauley, who said: ANo past event has any intrinsic importance. The knowledge of it is valuable only as it leads us to form just calculations with regards to the future.@ America, through it=s laws, statutes, ordinances, customs, practices is, like Rome, undermining the bedrock principles of inalienable rights upon which it was created. America needs to turn on it=s hearing aid and listen to the cries of anguish being heard around the world. America needs to know that Genesis 16:12 is not a commandment (authority or license) for this nation to deal unjustly with Ishmael ( the Muslim people). It is a prophecy of just what this world economic system is dishing out to, not only to Middle Easterners, but to needy people around this globe. Our foreign policy is creating a lot of hate for us, and fostering unsafe world conditions for this nation and it=s people. Using Afood as a weapon@ is not only unjust - it is morally bankrupt.
There are multitudes of self-proclaimed >constitutional experts= in government, many proclaiming the virtues of historical continuity; all the while denying the truths of history as a guide to this nation=s future. Now here=s the AMassive Conflict of Interest@: Our legal system is put together by so-called scholars whose actions are dictated out of concern for their own pocketbook - not, as they would have us believe, the good and welfare of the whole nation. Lawyers are writing legislation; rendering judgements in the judiciary; administering laws in the executive; they are making law by edict, and becoming wealthy on the miseries of others. This is a group of private businessmen and women who have cornered a lucrative market for themselves and, acting as quasi-government officials, have bullied this nation into believing they are doing it for our own good; and denying access to half of this nation=s people through their manipulation of market prices.
The parallels between ancient Rome and America of the twenty first century are strikingly similar, in that the nature of man and his behavior seems to be relatively unchanged in the past 2700 years. Society=s penchant for profiting at the expense of the minority begs a solution that man himself, seemingly, is incapable of coming to grips with. All the signs point to a new world order that is radically different from that which most of us have known before - designed, we are told, for a world population roughly one third of the more than six billion souls that currently occupy this celestial rock. This could explain the lack of effort on the part of world governments to come to grips with such chronic problems air, land and water pollution; lack of available health care; diseases (plagues?) that swallow up tons of money but never seem to go away; and despots who wreak havoc upon people, fostering human misery beyond our capability to comprehend. Do our leaders have a secret they are not sharing with their constituents? Probably so!! Who benefits from all the mayhem and mass confusion? Well, take a look around - they live among us, but they are not a part of us. They will not touch the infirmaries of the common man with their little finger.
In America today we find several forms and functions of government; some who do not comply with the Constitution as to job descriptions. An example of this would be a >strong= mayor type, or a >strong= administrator, who uses a city council only as a rubber stamp for his activities. Another would be a county commission that exercises legislative, executive, and even judicial authority. >Fiscal courts= are often authoritative in makeup - thereby concentrating power in the hands of a small number of people just as the magisterial districts of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson=s era. Aided by strong political organizations, these types of entities are often arrogant and dictatorial by nature, and hard to replace via the election process.
NO RIGHT AN ISLAND - Post September 11 polls show that Americans are all too willing to trade freedom for security. But what freedom will we trade and what impact this will have on other freedoms remain an open question. Among those clamoring for greater security, there is only dim recognition that fundamental rights are interrelated. If any rights are undermined or abridged, all others are impacted as well. If the rights of habeas corpus, due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, Fifth Amendment rights against self - incrimination, or Forth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures give way to the anti-terrorist imperative, the fundamental rights of conscience will not escape. By its very nature, the relationship between government regulation and religious practice invokes multiple constitutional values....Conceptionally, the very genius of the religion clauses is that they secure the rights of Americans, individually and in groups, to carry out their religious practices free of government coercion or interference. C Alan Reinach of Freedom=s Ring.
Mr. Chafin can be reached at: 730 East 4th Avenue, #311, Williamson, WV 25661.
Well, today I went out, as I do daily, to obey Our Lord's call to "go into all the world." I often go to a swap-meets (flea marts) here in the central valley of California, as they have these almost everyday of the week in different cities & towns!
One of my procedures, in spreading the Word, is just to walk around and offer people tracts and our Activated Magazine (Bible Study Program)! I also carry children's Treasure Attic videos, the interactive computer program & End Time Prophecy videos, just in case!
I ask for donations ,too, to keep our mission afloat! But, my main object is to get out the Word and try to stay open to people who are hungry for it, or fellowship, or who have some special need and could pray for or help with! I ask many if they have prayed to JESUS, just in case I meet someone who needs help to pray to HIM and to make sure their Salvation!
Today , I was pleasantly surprised as I was presenting my case to this little family of four! After the father saw what I was doing, he asked if there was anything I had which could help his kids to know more about JESUS! He had them with him. One was a shy 8 or 9 year old girl and the other, a boy of about 10.
When I realized that he was wanting to make sure that they were saved (even though I think he thought they needed to have some special theological training), I immediately offered to have them pray with me. (Wow, God's best kind of set up!!!) And , sure enough, they had never prayed to Our Lord, but they sincerely followed me in a Salvation Prayer and even asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit! WOW, THANK YOU JESUS! I also made sure they had our study program ,address and phone! It sure made my day... and theirs, too, I'm sure......Forever.
Thank You Lord! Ivan ebg
Note: Please send any donations to:
E.B.Goode, PO Box 2207, Tulare, Ca. 93275. Tks!
NOTE: EB Goode is an occasional columnist for the Communicator and writes as time allows. Forward all comments to the above listed address.
05-30-02: Guthrie - Patrick Blankenship, arrested and ROB for B&E 5-08, probable cause found - to Circuit Court.
06-04-02: Belt - Robert Owen Johnson, malicious assault, arrested, ROB.
06-07-02: Delk - John A. Hively, warrant issued for child neglect
05-11-02: Ellyson - Tammy Lynn Samples, failure to yield, appeared, ROB, trial set.
05-20-02: Clay Supermarket - Kimberly A. Robinson, warrants issued for WC x 2.
05-29-02: Guthrie - Katherine Lee Wolfe, possession of less than 15 grams marijuana 5-22, appeared, ROB, trial set.
05-31-02: Belt - Shasona M. Quinn, failure to keep right, appeared, ROB.
06-03-02: Slack - Jack Coulter, brandishing 5-30, arrested, ROB; McKown - Doris Coulter, battery, arrested, ROB.
06-04-02: Belt - Misty Lane, harassing/obscene telephone calls x 2, arrested 6-06, ROB; Belt - Robert Owen Johnson, driving suspended, arrested 6-07, ROB; Belt - Barbara Gray, no operator=s - 2nd offense and no registration, pled guilty 6-05, assessed fines and costs.
06-06-02: Slack - Kevin Wayne Tanner, summons for no insurance and registration violations; Slack - Edward Lee Adkins, warrant issued for defective equipment; Slack - Joshua Matthew Jones, warrants issued for muffler violation and MVI; Slack - Debbie Grose, warrant issued for registration violations.
06-07-02: Slack - Robert Owen Johnson, driving suspended - 2nd, arrested, ROB; Bailey - Raymone G. Hersman, defective tail light, appeared, ROB.
06-04-02: Chilton Nichols - Shari D. Bullard, money due.
06-10-02: Kay Martin - Harold Cummings Jr. and Harold Cummings Sr., money due.
05-29-02: Larry=s Grocery - Chadwick W. Muck x 2; Cunningham Motors - Chester E. Boggs Jr., Rebecca L. Crites (paid 6-06), David M. Asbury x 2, Stacey Schoolcraft (paid 6-07), Jamie D. Jarvis x 2, and Vaughn V. Deems x 2.
05-30-02: Polly Samples, Samples Market - James E. Dozer, Marsha Eagle, and Ricky A. Moore; Clay Magistrate Court - Jason Stalnaker.
06-04-02: Connie Brown - Tanya L. Hinzman.
06-05-02: Clay Supermarket - David C. Samples (paid 6-06), Kristi D. Burdette, Jeremiah L. Jones, and Donna H. Beasley (paid 6-10).
06-07-02: IGA - Phillip McGlothlin, Donna Beasley x 5 (paid 6-10), and Christopher Canter x 3; Samples Market - Betty Ramsey x 2.
06-10-02: The Kitchen Restaurant - Christopher Canter x 2.
05-22-02: Sheriff=s Dept. - Ryan W. Gilliland, passing on double line and registration violations; Jennifer E. Poff, speeding; State Police - Jason Brett Knight, operator=s, speeding, and no POI; Katherine Lee Wolfe, possession less than 15 gms. marijuana.
05-23-02: State Police - Jason E. Caldwell, seat belt violation; Daniel Suite, MVI and no POI.
05-24-02: State Police - Sharon L. Bellinger, failure to keep right and public profanity; Junior F. Ferrell, seat belt violation and operator=s; Vickie L. Hanshaw, seat belt violation; Teresa Holly, operator=s and seat belt violation; Kelly L. Paxton, seat belt violation; Teresa Jean Truman, seat belt violation; Dawin M. Walls, seat belt and registration violations; Sheriff=s Dept. - Connie Sue Rogers, failure to keep right.
05-25-02: State Police - Laura L. Adkins, operator=s and no POI; John H. Lane II, no POI; Michael C. Mollohan, seat belt violation and operator=s; Eric J. Nottingham, operator=s; Edward L. Walker, seat belt violation and no POI; Sheriff=s Dept. - Jeremy Ray Gray, seat belt violation; Roger Grose, operator=s; Adam F. Wood, seat belt violation.
05-26-02: State Police - Cameron A. Neal, operator=s.
05-29-02: Sheriff=s Dept. - Dale R. Duffield, littering; Matthew Scot Taylor, no POI; David A. White III, MVI.
05-30-02: DOH - Stanley D. Cottrell, overweight, over length, over width, and MVI; State Police - Raymond Hersman, defective tail light.
05-31-02: State Police - Mitchel Moore, no POI and seat belt violation.
06-01-02: DNR - Samuel E. Faulkner, insufficient PFDs; Douglas C. Mitchell, insufficient PFDs; Sheriff=s Dept. - Nona Kwinderknecht, speeding.
06-04-02: DOH - Benjamin F. Davis, overweight, over length, over width, and failure to display valid WV fuel decal; State Police - Calvin L. Bryant, no POI; Robert E. Stutler, seat belt violation.
06-05-02: State Police - Ronnie A. Holley, no POI; Sheriff=s Dept. - Jerry Wayne Cash II, operator=s and registration violations.
06-08-02: State Police - Patrick Blankenship, operator=s and seat belt violation; Sheriff=s Dept. - Stephen Higginbothom, MVI; Timothy C. Rose, speeding; Jeremy M. Pierson, no POI.
A FIRE TAKES OUT BUILDINGS
As you can see by the photos on the previous pages, an early morning fire completely consumed two structures Thursday June 13. The buildings located just across the street from the Courthouse housed the law offices of Wayne King, Kevin Duffy, the Gypsy Jew Shop and the Clay County PSD office.
According to Sheriff Harald Fields, the 911 call came in about 4:35 am. Those at the scenes mentioned that a newspaper delivery person noticed fire in Wayne King=s office around 4:20am. The law office building, one of the last wooden commercial buildings in the Town of Clay, also housed the Gypsy Jew Shop. Next door was the block building owned by the Clay County PSD. Both buildings were a total loss. No injuries were reported.
By 9am water reserves in the Town of Clay water tank were exhausted and a Boil Water Order was issued by the Town . Later on in the day, Chief Water Operator Bob West said the situation was improving and about 10 feet of water was then in the storage tank.
For most of the morning Thursday, Main Street was blocked to traffic as emergency service providers worked the blaze. Smoke continued to billow into Thursday evening. AW
CDC RECORDS SUBPOENAED!
One of Clay County=s most controversial social service providers is again making the news in a less than honorable way. Clay County Development Corporation (CDC) is being actively investigated by the Medicaid Fraud Unit and the U.S. Department of Justice. The most recent subpoena came June 4, 2002 to the home of CDC Board President Earnie Sirk. Get yourselves a cup of coffee, tell the kids to go play on the railroad tracks, and take your time readers, this installment is an example of careless administration and downright shocking misuse of public funds.
First mention was made of possible mismanagement of Medicaid funds during a Board meeting three years ago, when it came to light that CDC care givers were not working the hours turned into the agency for reimbursement by the U.S. Government. Two years ago and during a stormy ( they got into a fist fight) Board meeting, the names Madeline Ramsey, Melissa Drake and Lenoris Coen surfaced with concerns raised over questionable conduct by the CDC staff. Along about then, Director Betty Stalnaker, and Supervisors Pam Ramsey Taylor and Janet Fitzwater were fired by the Board. Judge Cline put the three back to work after a stormy court battle.
Right after a Board of Directors meeting, a special meeting of the CDC General Membership was hurriedly called. During that meeting many members of the Board were removed from office. Since many members of the General membership committee are employees of the agency, family members of the employees, and close friends of the employees, a loud cry of FOUL was heard around the county. It was during that special time that now Board President Earnie Sirk was elected president of the Board of Directors.
Since then, Czar Sirk has weathered many Board meeting battles with the prying public and in the court room as well, as the CDC tried to keep everything under wraps. In February of this year, yet another special meeting of the General membership was called to change the group=s by laws. The new by laws prevent the public from attending CDC Board of Director meetings. At one point, reporters were told to stay off CDC property. Shortly thereafter, the State Police were called in to remove the Mel Gibson look alike reporter from a Board meeting! Just 6 months after CDC Director Betty Stalnaker told the press that the CDC was not being investigated for Medicaid fraud, CDC worker Melissa Drake was sentenced to just that, a felony and as part of the court approved settlement, ordered to pay back $26,500.00 plus serve a five year probated sentence.
OK, we=re ready to get you up to speed on the latest CDC news. But remember, Shhhh, they are a private organization and are not accountable to anyone. Or , at least that=s what they said last September.
It=s June 4, 2002, 3 in the afternoon. Earnie ( Wide Glide) Sirk is at home and for once is not stretched out like a walrus on the couch taking a nap. Sirk , sitting on the couch, saw a reflection of two well dressed men on his front porch. Sirk motioned for the two to come on in. Once inside both produced badges and a subpoena. With one blocking the front door ( as if Earnie could even make a dash for the outside), Medicaid Fraud investigator Martin Holly told the leader of the pack: He was there to take any and all documents, notes, envelopes, and any information that might be in the possession of Sirk that related to the CDC.
Sirk=s mouth fell open. He turned white as a sheet.
The process of emptying shelves and drawers began. As the two investigators left the Ivydale home, Sirk was told , AIf you find any other CDC materials, be sure to turn them over to us.@
NOTE: That Subpoena can be found in its entirety on page 9 of this edition.
Even before the subpoena, Sirk was having problems with the Aclan@ that runs the CDC operation. The clan? For years concerns have been raised over the Ramsey family dominating policy and program within the agency. Family members include: Mother, Madeline Ramsey; daughters Pam Taylor, Wanda Keener, and Faye Asbury. Additionally, there are the children of younger Ramseys working for the social service provider.
On June 3rd Sirk called for a Special meeting of the Board of Directors. A few days earlier Sirk had discovered some very questionable activities by Pam Taylor and was asking the Board to fire her. After a three hour meeting, Taylor remained on the staff at CDC. Sources close have commented to this paper that Taylor could not be fired since employee Taylor was claiming to be on Worker=s Compensation after going to a hospital May 30, 2002. Also at issue was a Virginia Beach trip in early May of this year attended by Director Betty Stalnaker, Faye Asbury, Pam Parsons, Pam Taylor, Brenda Baird, Wanda Keener, and Janet Fitzwater. The clan said they would be attending a CDC related conference. Sources have told this paper : they did not attend the conference, were given $150.00 each out of Medicaid funds for Amad@ money, drivers of the two vehicles were given extra cash, all expenses were paid, and the Board did not give prior approval for the expenditures.
Starting to sound like Multi Cap and Paul Skaff? Sure would be interesting to see those receipts from the beach excursion. Hot tubs?
With Sirk openly campaigning to get Taylor fired, Sirk=s political stock within the organization went to an all time low. Internally, the move was afloat to remove Wide Glide from the Board.
Remember now, this special Board meeting was on the 3rd, one day before the Feds came knocking on the Sirkster=s door. Then came the 4th, the day of the subpoena and the day Sirk knew something was up.
June 5, 9 am. President Sirk called a Finance Committee meeting. Attending were: Sirk, Peter Triplett, and Sharon Mullins along with Ms Stalnaker. Observers in the Courthouse made note of the assembly across the street. Sirk told the group of the subpoena and that a Medicaid Fraud investigation is in progress. For months and months Stalnaker told the media and the Board : there was NO fraud investigation of CDC and no investigator had ever been to her office. Likewise for Sirk who on many occasions, reported to the world: The CDC is clean!
During this June 5th meeting, Ms Stalnaker >fessed up. According to our sources, Stalnaker admitted that questions had been asked in the past, and some time back the CDC was ordered to copy about every file in the office and forward those to the investigators. Additionally, the committee was told that Medicaid fraud investigators had visited with CDC clients over the last 18 months and asked questions about CDC workers and the amount of time ( and how often) they spent in each home. Also during this private meeting, it came to be known that Stalnaker had lied about who was paying for all the attorney bills. In the private setting Ms Stalnaker admitted that the Board of Risk was not footing the bill as she had said during public meetings but rather the CDC was covering the cost of the $150.00 per hour legal beagles and being paid without the Board even knowing about such.
The assembled were starting to squirm. It was beginning to sink in. If the Board knew anything about the fraudulent activities of the staff and chose not to report the workers to the proper authorities.... they could be in deep doo doo. They could be held liable.
Rumors circulated that behind the scenes the Ramsey clan had met away from the office and laid plans to get rid of that prying Earnie Sirk.
Quietly, ever so quietly, some employees, sensing the great CDC ship was sinking, began to spill their guts in an attempt to stay out of trouble. Info began to flow.
As a side bar, just a few months back, from Janet Fitzwater=s office came a scream after a hidden tape recorder was discovered there. The little red voice activated blinking light was Aon@ indicating that all conversations were being taped. As they looked at one another and with a panic in their voices:@ THE FBI HAS BUGGED US !!!!!!!!!!@
Still during the June 5th meeting, another issue popped up. Long time on sick leave Madeline Ramsey, was still collecting a pay day by using bank time donated by CDC employees. Sound OK readers? It would be except that CDC by-laws say employees can donate their sick days to other CDC employees. Mother Ramsey is NOT a CDC employee but rather employed by Putnam Aging Program as is fellow worker Ruth Brown.
During yet another meeting ( June 7), this one a personnel committee meeting, details of the Pam Taylor infractions surfaced. Heres the way it went. Last February Taylor was Project Director for a fund raising project with the privately held photography company, Knickerbockers. Her assistant was Lisa Slack. Knickerbockers, Inc. does photography shoots for non profit organizations ONLY. They require a $10.00 up front reservation fee before they will come into the agency. CDC was to receive a cut from each setting booked. Taylor collected the $10 from each of the 50 participants. According to board members in attendance at the meeting, Taylor tried to cash that check but the Clay County Bank refused to do so since the payable to was : Clay Development Corp. Shortly thereafter, Stalnaker deposited that $500.00 into the CDC coffers and ordered a $500 check made out to Ms Taylor out of Medicaid funds. Additionally, Ms Taylor received a bonus check from the Knickerbocker Co amounting to $500.00 or so .
That was last year. This year and just last month, a similar fund raiser was organized by Taylor and this time the reservation fee was raised to $20.00 by Ms Taylor.
Sources close have disclosed, Taylor had used the CDC name for personal gain. The IRS 501-3-C non profit status of the group was in jeopardy.
With this information on the personnel committee table, Ms Pam Taylor was recommended to be fired . Members Gary Whaling and Eunice Thomas voted not to go along with the firing. Since Director Stalnaker was in on the check writing to Taylor, a formal written reprimand was placed in her file. Taylor was fired by Director Stalnaker June 7, 2002.
On June 8th , the Charleston Daily Mail reported a Medicaid fraud indictment for Lenoris Coen. Ms Coen is the grandmother of Melissa Drake and the client Drake was supposed to be caring for. Our sources indicate that instead of needing care givers, Ms Coen was actually working a job in the Charleston area. Drake was falsifying time sheets for services she was not providing. Coen was signing her name for services she did not get. Pam Taylor was Ms Drakes supervisor and Oked the time sheets of the care givers.
Others in the tight knit circle began to squeal like a pig. The armor plated hull of the CDC ship had been pierced. The ship was taking on water. Taylor had been fired, a formal reprimand was laid on Stalnaker and another indictment had been rendered. All this came during the same week the Czar Sirk had to give up all his CDC related documents under court order.
As the rats were jumping ship and trying to protect their hinys, an email was received by this paper. Excerpts from that email include:....there is a file that has a list of all the last needy cases that the agency received money for... in that file is needy cases wrote on a Pam Mayes ( who is really Pam Parsons going by her maiden name), Cases wrote on Shane Winebrenner and Tracy Burford ( Pams son in laws). Also, needy cases were wrote on all of Betty Stalnakers grand kids and daughter in laws. Stories were wrote on Frankie Asbury and also Angie King (both Fayes kids).
The e-mailer was referring to the Charleston Newspapers neediest case fund raiser done around Christmas each year. Two years ago, after investigating the CDC, the Charleston folks barred CDC from participating in the program.
Also from the email came this, When a fund raiser is done at the agency none of the funds are used to pay for the supplies for the fund raisers. They are paid out of Medicaid funds, but no one ever seems to know what the fund raiser money does or what it is used for and, a building [trailer] was rented from Carol Ramsey for $100.00 per month and this was not approved by the Board or Finance committee.
So who is supposed to monitor quasi public social service providers? Nobody according to Appalachian Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Back when the CDC eliminated the public from the meetings, AAA was asked to intervene and give guidance to CDC. Months later AAA Executive Director Ramona Stanley wrote back,... I apologize for the delay in responding to your letter regarding AAA intervening in the legality of the CDC closing its meetings. ...... The AAA does not have the authority to investigate or intervene into how a private non profit board of directors conducts business unless actions taken by the board are in violation of the older American Act programs...
On June 13 this paper received a letter from Ms Melissa Drake which read as follows:
Mr. Waddell, I am sending you this email , So that maybe I'll make your paper once more. Ha Ha ! When I went to Federal Court and was sentenced 5 years probation , I signed a plea agreement to cooperate with the investigators. I met with them approx. 2 weeks ago at the Clay County Police Headquarters , I was asked many questions, I answered the questions, to the best of my ability. But, I knew nothing. If Clay County Development Corp. wants to blame anyone for their doings, they should not blame me.. All I know is ! When I do something wrong , it always comes home to me. You dont do wrong and get by with it . I am the only one to blame for what I done .. Yes, their was many of days that I lied and never went to work and also claimed my time. But , No one is to blame but me for my ignorance. But, the mess CDC is into does not pertain to me. Thank You , Sincerely, Melissa
We spoke to Mr. Sirk about the CDC investigation this week. Sirk reminded us that he had said in the past he would not be a part of any fraudulent activities and if he spotted such, he would fire the offender. He also commented that he had band aids all over his back side from the biting going on at CDC.
|The next general membership meeting of the CDC is scheduled for June 18 at 1 pm. It will most certainly be a time for those on the sinking ship to try and remove the prying eyes and protect their job for as long as it takes the investigators to get indictments returned from the Kanawha County Grand Jury.
Two weeks ago the call was issued to A Free Willie@. At issue was the lone Filcon, Inc. worker, Willie Schamann. Willie was brought into town to help set up the Filcon plant on Main Street by Filcon owner Manfred Kuentzer. All the while Kuentzer was gallivanting around the world on the taxpayers dole, Willie remained in town and labored. That=s labored , without pay!
When it became obvious to locals that Kuentzer was not coming back, a fund was set up to gather enough $ to get the 76 year old Schamann back to his wife and home in New York. Nearly $200 was raised over the last two weeks and Mr. Schamann left for home on Wednesday, June 12.
And not on the back end of a Greyhound either. Eric Legg and Eric McLaughlin, along with town worker Hockie Keener, drove Willie to his front door.
Happy faces for the do gooders are located elsewhere in this edition!
??? DID YOU KNOW ???
- Almost one in four women who gave birth last year had a Caesarean Section.
- Megadeth the band whos been around for 19 years, is calling it quits because founder Dave Mustains left arm and hand have been seriously injured.
- No act of kindness however small is ever wasted.
- In 2000, 9.1 percent of court costs and fines owed to the Magistrate Court were not collected. In 2001, 13.1 percent were not collected.
- The death rate of firefighters in structure fires increased from 1.5 in the late 1970s to about 3 percent in 2000.
- Researchers at the University of New York, say religious affiliation in America dropped sharply in the 1990s, but rose 14 percent in 2000.
- The NCAA will switch from leather basketballs next season to balls made from synthetic materials.
- The three Candidates most likely to keep Fayette County Schools open were the winners in this years election.
- More than $200 million has been spent on hundreds of studies of Gulf War illness. Most scientists say its stress.
- Physicians at CMAC diagnose about 235 new cases of breast cancer each year.
- A survey by progressive insurance found that 52 percent of reported crashes occurred five miles or less from home.
- A 90 degree day with 80 percent humidity is equal to 113 degrees to your body.
- In West Virginia, 8 percent of babies born in 1999 weighed less than 5.5 pounds.
- While the high school drop-out rate remained at 10 percent nationwide, West Virginias drop-out rate fell from 12 percent to 9 percent.
- The federal government alone spends $153.5 million in adult protective services for the elderly.
- According to a study by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year.
- Blacks have a 3.3 percent higher death rate from cancer than whites.
- West Virginia is one of the few states without a state or federal Veterans Nursing Home.
- Astronomers at the University of Hawaii, have discovered 11 more moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing the number orbiting the solar systems largest planet to 39..
- Keep your face in the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.
Oh how we long for the days of outrageous Ambulance Authority meetings. The yelling, the screaming, the excitement! Those days are gone and now , so is the notorious $25.00 ambulance fee.
With WV EMS running the show since January 22 of this year, monthly reports are issued to the County Commission. The following are the WV EMS Director B.J. Willis prepared reports for April and May 2002
Monthly Report for April
Work on Rules and Regulations/Policy and Procedure Manual for Clay County Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS). Should be in place for the start of the FY 2002/2003
Maintenance work continues on the ambulances. A third ambulance is at KCEAA and should be completed in the near future.
I have met with Barbara to discuss the best way to sell current ambulances.
Met with ad hoc committee on the 8th to discuss employee benefits. An employee cannot receive PEIA unless they become county employees.
Held staff meeting on the 10th to give a Awhere we stand@ report and discuss becoming county employees. In addition, some budget items were discussed.
Monthly Report for May 2002
Continue work on Policy and Procedure / Rules and Regulations manual. A draft should be turned into Barbara for legal review by mid June.
Held several quality Assurance/Quality Improvement meetings with individual employees.
Met with Barbara concerning policy issues and previous employee issues dealing with Worker=s Compensation.
Met with Barbara and Judy , at separate times, to discuss the Medicaid and Medicare refunds that each agency has requested. It was decided to allow the two agencies to withhold the money from their payments to us each month until they have collected their payments in full. This should take no more than three months. Until then, we will not be receiving any deposits from these agencies.
Kanawha County mechanic reports that one of our ambulances ( Unit 17) is in bad shape and would take around $3500.00 to repair and make safe. They recommend that we take it out of service and repair another ambulance. This recommended action has been followed.
Capito Statement on Shero Casualty
Washington - Upon hearing the news that another West Virginia soldier has been killed in the war on terrorism, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) issued the following statement:
AThe death of a second West Virginia soldier should cause us to take pause and remember all of the other brave West Virginians who have gone before and honorably died for our country, including Sergeant Vance. As we fight terror around the world, we stand proud behind the men and women who are willing to fight for our liberty and freedom. Service to one=s country is completely honorable and praiseworthy, yet the valor of a soldier=s ultimate dedication can not bring them back. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sergeant Shero=s family and loved ones at this difficult time.@
Air Force Staff Sgt. Anissa A. Shero, 31, of Grafton, WV was killed along with two other soldiers when their Air Force MC-130H crashed and caught fire after taking off from an airstrip in Afghanistan.
We haven=t heard much on local business man and several times elected official, Clinton Nichols since the Charleston Gazette coverage three weeks ago. By checking over at the Circuit Clerk=s office, a reply to the Clay County Bank lawsuit charges has been filed. Those charges amount to nearly 2 million in unpaid debts to the bank.
Mr. Nichol=s attorney is Christopher Smith with Hoyer, Hoyer, Smith, and Miesner of Charleston. Their reply was posted June 6, 2002. Kevin Duffy represents the Clay County Bank.
According to the new paperwork, most everything the Bank alleges is denied by Nichols with just a few exceptions. Questions were raised on the actual mailing addresses on the lawsuit papers. Most noteworthy to mention is the comment made several times in the documents that the Nichols family does not know how much they should pay the bank. They don=t know the amount owed on each of the accounts. Elsewhere in the new documents, Mr. Nichols denied that the Nichols Farm account, A is anything but a trade name for Clinton.@
Acknowledgment was made that one of the accounts, Elk Printing Co., A has obligations to pay the overdrawn account@, but once again they don=t know how much that figure is.
On the last page of the June 6th Answer to Complaint comes this, A The Defendant demands a jury trial on all issues.@ That should be fun.
To check all the entire file, it is public record you know, head over to the Circuit Clerk=s office and ask for case number 02-C-33. AW
A boy, Oh boy short short comes from Big Otter resident Marie Haynes who is real mad over her water bills. According to Ms Haynes, the last $55.00 bill was way out of line since she spends many weekends visiting her daughter and during the week, she uses very little H2O. Clay County PSD provides her with water service.
Haynes continued that she doesn=t even wash her car at home nor does she have a garden to be watered.
Here=s one other notation. Haynes did a little investigating herself. When Haynes went out to check the meter ( to see if there was a leak), she had to take a shovel to get the dirt off the meter cover. Ditto for the face of the meter itself. So dirty the glass face was NOT visible. Of course the issue came up: Was anybody even reading the thing! Haynes felt the answer was, No.
Sometimes it is hard to know when a Boil Water Order (BWO) is issued in Clay County. Such was the case this week when Queen Shoals area residents found out in the Charleston Gazette ( June 11) that 5 days earlier a BWO had been issued by the state Health Dept boys which customers had never heard about it. According to the paperwork in County Sanitarian Teresa Morton=s office, low water pressure is the culprit along Route 1 in that area of the county. AW
| Solid Waste Authority member Vicky Neely resigned from the Board last month apparently in support of Solid Waste Authority paid secretary Donna Salisbury who also quit. The resignations come on the heels of a stormy Board meeting in April where issues of A where is all the money going@ and Awhat good are we doing A were hotly debated.
OWNERSHIP CASE GOES TO COURT: NO ANSWERS YET!
In an attempt to regain control of taxpayer=s property, the Clay County Business Development Authority (BDA) took action in Circuit Court Thursday June 13 , 2002. Case 02-C-37, BDA, County Commission vs the Clay County Bank was heard before Judge Rick Facemire beginning at 9 am. In the peanut gallery were all the BDA members along with several interested citizens. Interim Bank President Scott Legg sat up front with attorney Kevin Duffy . Across the table was BDA Chair Paige Willis represented by Asst. Prosecutor Barbara Schamberger.
At issue was stopping the planned foreclosure sell of the Filcon, Inc. property at Ovapa by the bank. Filcon was foreclosed upon for non payment of a $255,000.00 loan. Owner Manfred Kuentzer had secured the bank loan with $90,000.00 in land given to his company by the BDA last year. The BDA contended that Filcon had no right to put a lien on the land without prior BDA approval.
Judge Facemire said that he had issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) June 4th which prevented the bank from proceeding with a publicly noticed auction slated for June 5. Today=s court action was to determine if the temporary order would become permanent.
During opening remarks, attorney Duffy asked that the TRO be thrown out since he had not been given proper legal notice. He also contended that the Bank was not the proper party at the hearing since the BDA agreement was with Filcon and NOT the Clay County Bank. Didn=t seem to wash too well with the Judge. The hearing plowed on. Duffy said that the cardinal rule was to view the document ( the BDA agreement) Ain its entirety@ and clearly, Filcon could enter into any financial agreement with anybody since the title to the property had been deeded over to them.
The counter from Schamberger stressed a paragraph in the same agreement which stipulated that Filcon Inc. had to have BDA approval PRIOR to encumbering the land with a lien. Further , Schamberger brought out that elsewhere in the agreement, it was stated that if Filcon did not live up to the terms of paperwork, the property would revert back to the BDA.
Facemire denied the Duffy motion to dismiss.
Commissioner Jimmy Sams was the witness in the hot seat for over an hour of questioning and testimony. During the tough questioning Duffy asked Sams if he knew what the word Ashall@ really meant. When Sams sputtered around a little, Duffy made mention of the Sams inspired Ten Commandments wall hanging downstairs and all the AThou shall nots@ posted there. Sams turned a few shades of red but no garden hose size blue veins could be seen around his neck. Schamberger got hot ,@ Does Duffy have to insult the witness??!!!@ During the testimony it came to light that Filcon Industries had not paid any of the bills associated with building the shell building near Ovapa. It a sounded like none of the bank loan money was spent on the property. . Translation: Filcon owner Manfred Kuentzer made off with the bank loan money paying no contractors from it. Additionally, Sams testified that the WV Development Office Grant dollars for site development had been misspent by Filcon.
After 35 minutes in the Judge=s chambers, Facemire said he had other court matters to tend to in Braxton County and the hearing would be continued Friday June 14.
|NOTE: We=ll try to get a verdict on the matter before this edition goes out the door but ... that may be iffy at best. For the very latest in news, be sure to check our web site: www.clayberry.org