2008-05-03 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' scratching for public records


Another attempt to get the Kirkersville Kops to comply with a public records request was a little more successful. The "Evidence Disposition Forms" were more revealing this time around although the incident report on the stolen items from the Village of Kirkersville was still blacked out.

I spoke to Chief GOB (Good Ole' Boy) Chamberlain and reminded him that anything stolen from the village is public record. He argued that the incident (items were stolen from the sewer plant) was "still being investigated" although it happened in May of 2007. He told me that he didn't have time to investigate because he had to deal with my public records request! How funny is that?!

You almost have to shake him upside down to get him to give up public records even though the solicitor has told him ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS that he must comply! The stolen items included: three grass trimmers; power saws; power drills; two screw guns; chain saw; and miscellaneous hand tools. The value was over $1500. This happened at about 5 pm on a Wednesday afternoon while two Kirkersville Kops were on duty and Bennie Evans' son-in-law who was employed as the street employee at the time.

Also revealed in this public records request was information on several "Evidence Disposition Forms" that was previously blacked out. According to these records, money was taken in the amounts of $43; $4; and $7. In all cases, the money was forfeited. These forms are all from 2007. My request was for all forms from 2006 and 2007. However, Chief GOB Chamberlain said he doesn't have any forms for 2006! He says he will be doing inventory and if he comes across them, he will provide them!

Since the Auditor's Office will be visiting the Village of Kirkersville this year, I hope that a full audit on the police department inventory is performed. I truly believe that the Kirkersville Kops scrambled to put together a few forms just to appease me. They weren't expecting me to ask for records from 2006 and that's why they have none. I will be seeking the records from 2004 and 2005. I have found that they received several thousand dollars (that they took from an impounded vehicle) and the money was placed in the evidence room. It will be interesting to know if that money was also forfeited AND if it was audited!

And on a lighter note, the dog lost at the Flying J about two weeks ago HAS BEEN FOUND thanks to the kindness and diligence of a family just south of Kirkersville, Paula Evans of Second Chance Humane Society in Johnstown, several animal rescuers throughout the United States; and to Sebastian, an Australian Shepherd, who knew the importance of comforting a friend in need! BonnieMan Buckeye Lake

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