Thursday, September 8, 2011

Can anyone say: 'CONFLICT OF INTEREST?'

Lawsuit filed in response to clerk's refusal to allow voters to decide the fate of Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission

My latest Bluegrass Beacon column sent to newspapers today addresses yesterday's announcement by Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe to prohibit voters from deciding the future of the bloated Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission.

(Read more about why this costly government agency must go here.)

Summe claimed in her news release that the petition submitted by the Northern Kentucky Tea Party and the local Home Builders Association lacked enough valid signatures to be certified to place the issue on the ballot.

However, after reviewing the data used by Summe to disqualify signatures on the petition, Tea Party members today found a multitude of glaring errors.

But my sources tell me that even after being presented with the evidence of hundreds of mistakes made by her office, Summe would not relent.

As a result, plaintiffs Paul Metzger and Garth Kuhnhein filed a lawsuit, which landed in front of Summe's sister, circuit Judge Patsy Summe. While Patsy Summe immediately recused herself, the case has not yet been reassigned.

Tea party members tell me they are concerned that the circuit judge's office will drag its feet and try to prevent the tea party from meeting the state Board of Elections' Sept. 19 deadline for submitting issues for print on the November ballot.

There is also concern about undue pressure being applied by Kenton County Attorney Gary Edmondson, who is dead-set opposed to the ballot measure. According to fellow blogger Marcus Carey, who also represents the Northern Kentucky Tea Party: Many have raised questions regarding this conflict throughout the petition process including some who have claimed that they felt threatened by the police and Edmondson who spoke in terms of 'prosecution' of the signature gatherers.

Edmondson has a good reason to be opposed to the NKAPC ballot measure: One of the clients for his private practice is the NKAPC.

The clerk's sister is the judge upon whose desk the lawsuit ends up. A client of the county attorney's private law practice is the defendant.

Can anyone say: "CONFLICT OF INTEREST?"


Anonymous said...

Not to mention that the County Clerk, Miss Summe worked for Gary Edmondson until late last year when she, with his assistance and backing was elected as clerk.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone really think that Judge Summe recusing herself meant that there would be a fair hearing by a subordinate judge in her court?