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Opinion: The County's Kangaroo Court

Written By Editor on 7/14/14 | 7/14/14


Schoharie County's trial of suspended Personnel Director Cassandra Ethington could be seen as the county's attempt to achieve justice for victims of her alleged "reign of terror," while retaining Ms. Ethington's right to a fair and just hearing before a panel of eight Supervisors tasked to sit in final judgment. 

However, as is often the case, reality tells another story altogether. 

From the initiation of proceedings, Ms. Ethington's trial has been marred by chaos and controversy, diluting the reasons for holding these hearings in the first place and revealing the county's lack of preparation for handling this unique under coming. 

Originally scheduled for three consecutive evenings, with the possibility of meeting on additional nights remaining open if need be, the trial was expected to go through several witnesses and be well on its way toward a conclusion by Thursday night, but instead hearings are stalled on the second witness with no end in sight. 

The reasoning for this is two-fold: defense attorney Ron Dunn went on an extensive, often repetitive, six hour back and forth exchange with Schoharie County Labor Attorney Mary Roach; eating up almost three nights worth of time. Meanwhile, the county never put in place the proper protocols to maintain its schedule or to avoid the possibility of a filibuster.

Additionally, the public exclusion of Supervisor Jordan from the panel was mishandled and afforded the first-term legislator no defense against unwarranted embarrassment in front of a packed courtroom of spectators and colleagues; all for evidence that was eventually thrown out on grounds of irrelevancy by Chairman VanGlad. 

With eight days until the proceedings reconvene, there is still time for the county to set the trial on a just and proper path, but if next Tuesday's hearing mirrors that of the first three affairs... It will inevitably devolve into an irreparably damaged kangaroo court that will shed whatever credibility remains of its public standing, if there is any to be found, that is...
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1 comments:

Norie61 said...

SO WHY ISN'T THE CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD MOVING THINGS ALONG? IF THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IS USING THE SAME THINGS STOP HIM IN HIS TRACK. THIS IS JUST A STALL TACTIC TO WEAR YOU OUT. MR. VAN GLAD SHOULD HAVE HAD A PROFESSIONAL MEDIATOR BE THE JUDGE. AS USUAL HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL HE'S DOING.

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