A Paducah Sun editorial January 22 concerning a fiscal court payment to former McCracken County Emergency Management Director Paul Carter contained an error. The editorial said there is a Kentucky State Police investigation into an alleged effort to blackmail Commissioner Jerry Beyer regarding the payment to Carter. In a January 23 letter to The Paducah Sun, Beyer says the email at issue actually was an attempt to get him to change his vote to suspend Carter. Beyer goes on to contend that because of that, and because the KSP probe was confidential, he acted correctly in not disclosing the probe and had no conflict of interest in voting to pay Carter the comp time discussed in the editorial.
We apologize for the error, but otherwise disagree. The two matters are inextricably interlinked, and if Beyer felt Carter had attempted to illegally coerce him, to the extent that Beyer filed a criminal complaint with police, we believe that created an obvious conflict of interest and Beyer should have recused himself from any vote relating to Carter. We further stand by our position that the entire fiscal court was wrong to vote on this matter with the probe pending, and wrong not to disclose the probe to the public. If the allegedly illegal threat was memorialized in an email, and the incident report of Beyer's complaint (which we obtained) is public record, there was no valid reason for the commissioners not to disclose it.