Letter to the Editor

Reader questions inconsistencies of remonstrance

Sunday, April 19, 2009

To the Editor:

Laws that are not enforced are not worth the cost of the paper and ink required to document them. We are a nation of laws, supposedly, and not a nation ruled by one person or a group of people except within the boundaries of our law.

When public entities fail to abide by the law, then they should be held accountable. Many times that responsibility falls to other public officials who should carry out the duties of their offices.

If they fail to do so, then we are no longer ruled by law, we are at the mercy of the decisions made for us by people without basis in law. It is time that the public be made aware that we might be in that situation here in Clay County.

During last summer's petition and remonstrance process, there appears to have occurred incidents that look to be infractions of our law.

Along with other things, money to support a position favorable to the petition was solicited using a school corporation e-mail account, advertising and flyers were published using the telephone number of the corporation's Central Office and official titles of two school employees while the school corporation took no action to stop the use of these things linking the petition to the school corporation although the school corporation was barred from promoting a position on either the petition or remonstrance.

I have been assured that this was done without the consent of the board of trustees; however, it appears that the law was violated and the procedure unlawfully influenced.

According to my contacts within State government, if the statute was in fact violated, it is a felony offense.

The Clay County Prosecutor acknowledged that the evidence and statement had been received and that the matter was under investigation last December.

Despite repeated inquires as the status and progress, other than the fact that there has been an investigation initiated, there has been no further communication from the Prosecutor's Office.

This lack of communication or progress forced me to request an investigation into the operation of the Clay County Prosecutor's Office by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

However, enforcement of law is left to the discretion of the Prosecuting Attorney, basically, meaning that little can be done if that office decides to ignore investigation of infractions or enforcement of the law.

To me, that means that the laws passed by our legislative process are worthless unless supported by a very small group of people. It is not "Government of the people, for the people, and by the people" unless the law is enforced in accordance with the will of the people. Currently, enforcement of a crime against an individual appears more likely than one against the public.

Currently, the people of Clay County are left with a glaring question! Was the law violated? Unfortunately, only a court can decide that issue. One must ask oneself if the people entrusted with enforcing the laws of the people are doing their job!

Leo L. Southworth

216 West Ridge Street

Brazil, IN 47834