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17 Mar 19
Vicites, Lohr arranged private
meeting over airport dirt
RAVES to Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, honestly, for being a much
better person than most of the rest of us would be in her situation. Most of the rest of
us, surely, at least once each administration, would have banged two heads together
by now, if we were sometimes in her chair and shoes.
That said, RANTS to Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr for ordering up a
letter with county letterheard bearing Zimmerlink's name, but without Zimmerlink's
knowledge, and for scheduling and holding a private meeting with a conractor and
airport and political representatives, to hammer out a tax donation deduction deal from
free dirt from an out of county construction company.
Although the letter was written by the county solicitor to the company and copied to
Lohr and his assistant -- and not copied to Vicites or Zimmerlink -- Vicites attended the
private meeting and helped request that the solicitor send the letter on county
letterhead stationery bearing Zimmerlink's name without her knowledge. Should Vicites
claim otherwise, then Lohr went rogue and ordered the letter to be written for him
without a second commissioner required to make such a request.
For more information on that, please check out the commissioner's social media political
page to catch up on the posts from March 7 and March 12.
Lastly, Rants&Raves wants to stress that we're not accusing the two male
commissioners of violating the Sunshine Law. Only if they -- or a next board of
commissioners -- have to vote on anything about the dirt deal or provide any funding for
its hauling or spreading would the private meeting that Vicites and Lohr had about the
dirt up for donation be a violation of the law.
The point that we at Rants&Raves want to drive home with readers is, again, a letter
was drafted by a county solicitor -- as opposed to the airport authority's solicitor -- on
letter head with Zimmerlink's name without her knowledge. That's low. A solicitor
wouldn't do that without being asked by a majority of commissioners, right?
We here at Rants&Raves, as do many readers, somehow, though, seem to be rest
assured, meanwhile, that Vicites, no doubt, first ran helping to arrange the private
airport meeting about Lohr's fantastic dirt find by his main squeeze, known, ironically, to
spout about the very subject of Sunshine Law -- i.e., but in anonymous, sometimes,
shamefully bitter personal online attacks on Zimmerlink over a couple years.
So we're hopeful that the two male commissioners who attended the private meeting
must have known up front, before that private meeting, that the airport could
independently fund everything to do with the dirt, as not to taint the entire free deal or
taint the two commissioners' Sunshine and stop them from helping with any future vote
for dirt transportation or spreading funds, should the airport need such assistance.
Neither male commissioner can ever vote to have the county pay for any
expense to do with that dirt in the future without it now being a conflict of
interest and Sunshine violation. If Vicites and Lohr are still in office next term and are
asked to vote on county funding to help cover transporting or spreading the dirt at the
airport, they must recuse themselves for having that private meeting late last year.
In short, the duo had to have known that it was just wrong not to run the draft letter by
all commissioners for review prior to sending it. The duo should have known that having
a meeting could taint helping contribute financially in the future to the same airport
project associated with the dirt, even for a new board of commissioners.
That's bad enough in itself as far as wrong and issue of possible long-term tainting go.
Add to the goofy mix that after the sneaky tactic of issuing a letter without a
commissioner's knowledge, the county more recently heard back from the businessman
wishing to donate the dirt, who told a county official that he did not want a tax deduction
for the donated dirt, as the county solicitor's letter claimed.
Who's fooling who?