El­lis’s re­moval of Neuhierl

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

Keith El­lis took the cow­ard’s way out when he un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dumped, via email on Fri­day, a com­pe­tent and ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sional woman on the pro­cure­ment and pro­fes­sional ser­vices com­mit­tee set up to look into the county’s pur­chas­ing poli­cies. He wrote to Ann Neuhierl, his own ap­pointee, that his orig­i­nal can­di­date is now avail­able for duty and that he would of­fer Neuhierl’s seat to that per­son.

Ms. Neuhierl deals with state and fed­eral con­tracts in her ca­reer. She knows the ins and outs of ethics poli­cies and strict ac­count­abil­ity that is de­manded when state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments spend tax­payer monies in procur­ing goods and ser­vices. I at- tended both the first and sec­ond meet­ing of that com­mit­tee at which time I was thor­oughly im­pressed with her straight-for­ward com­ments and sug­ges­tions to tighten the rules that would pro­tect tax­pay­ers from see­ing their money spent un­wisely or loosely with no ac­count­abil­ity.

We all know that one of the rea­sons be­hind the cre­ation of this com­mit­tee was public and me­dia out­rage over unchecked legal ex­pen­di­tures paid to Tommy Craig, some $1.1 mil­lion in 2014, pos­si­bly $1.2 mil­lion this year.

I sus­pect, and oth­ers will too, that Craig and his sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing El­lis who calls New­ton “blessed” to have Craig’s ser­vices, were feel­ing un­com­fort­able at the idea of a com­mit­tee in­clud­ing Neuhierl that might re­com- mend pur­chas­ing and ethics poli­cies that could in­fringe on Craig’s abil­ity to sub­mit a mil­lion dol­lars worth of billings ev­ery year. So Neuhierl had to go. She said too much when she sug­gested that state and fed­eral pur­chas­ing poli­cies re­quire all ven­dors to be cur­rent with state and fed­eral in­come taxes owed. Tommy Craig can’t say that.

Here’s hop­ing El­lis won’t waste his breath or our time in try­ing to ex­plain his un-ap­point­ment any fur­ther than the weak and trans­par­ently ridicu­lous way he did Fri­day. And thanks to Ann Neuhierl for her will­ing­ness to serve this county at the re­quest of a thank­less chair­man.

Sin­cerely, Bar­bara Mor­gan

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