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Forest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does”

web posted July 8, 2010

COLUMN – Edgefield County Administrator Alton Brown has opened a Pandora’s Box after his show at Tuesday night’s County Council meeting when he launched into personal attacks of two sitting county council members, a current candidate for county council, and the editor of Edgefield Daily. As his conspiracy theory fell apart before he finished, he just could not resist going further. He also made claims of a “hostile work environment” due to his invented conspiracy theory.

I am sure that the only “hostile work environment” that has taken place occurred Tuesday night and it was directed by Alton Brown upon members of council, a candidate for council, and a private citizen, not the other way around.

I should say I am not surprised, but in reality I am. Mr. Brown and I have had many very private and candid conversations regarding county issues and it appeared to be a very good working relationship between his office and the media.

That was until I began asking questions about the process being undertaken with the Calliham project and his proposed levy of business licenses in order to generate more revenue for the county. Mr. Brown repeatedly made himself unavailable as I attempted to interview him as I did four of the five county council members.

I asked hard questions and the answers, and sometimes lack thereof, raised even more questions that to date remain unanswered. I guess he did not like that as his attack on me was almost as brutal as those on County Council members Blackwell and Ashcraft.

Chairman Kneece, who is supposed to be in charge of running the meeting, should have gaveled Mr. Brown down and demanded an executive session before things went too far, in my opinion. Clearly this was a personnel issue and Brown leveling charges and threats of a lawsuit against the county should have been a no-brainer, yet Chairman Kneece nor County Attorney Michael Medlock made no effort to stop the meeting.

Quoting Mr. Brown, I assume they gave “silent majority consent” to what he was doing by not objecting.

The real question is why Brown would do such a thing to start with? It is obvious he wants out of his job by stating he was looking for other employment. He said he was not resigning his job in the so-called “hostile work environment”.

Strange, isn’t it?

I knew something was up Tuesday as Chairman Kneece was at the Administration Office early in the morning. He returned again in the early afternoon. There was tension in the air so think you could cut it with a dull knife.

Also curious was how County Attorney Michael Medlock sat there during Brown’s tirades at the county council meeting bobbing his head back and forth looking like a bobble head in a Pep Boy’s commercial.

Maybe the legal beagle might want to touch up on when a volatile legal issue is being raised at a county council meeting. After all, his job is to protect the county council and the county from litigious actions - not nod in agreement with someone making them.

Funny how Brown was allowed to attack sitting council members, a current candidate for council, and a private citizen and no one said anything.

Why do I get the feeling this was all planned ahead of time?

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