Two of three Morgan County commissioners apparently cannot read handwriting on a wall.
In simple terms, Morgan County Treasurer Louella Pryor was paid less than state statutes mandate for seven years. While every other Morgan County elected official, including the commissioners, took every dime they could legally get, Pryor was left out. Her annual salary was held to $33,300 when by law it should have been $45,000.
Over the years she complained and in fact offered to settle the matter three times for about half of what she was actually owed. In the end, she sued and was awarded $93,000 in back pay. In a move that court watchers will recognize as important, the judge in the matter was so convinced the law was on Pryor’s side he awarded her a summary judgement without the need for a trial. That is rare and speaks to the weight of the facts in the case.
Apparently commissioners James Vaughan and Wayne Kroeschen are not swayed by the judge's ruling and have voted to fight on, wasting more taxpayer dollars in a meaningless and useless fight.
Commissioner Rodney Shad, who apparently can read both walls and a judge’s ruling, voted against it. He says the county will likely lose again and will have gained nothing except further legal bills. He has the taxpayers’ interest at heart unlike his fellow commissioners who apparently just want to punish Pryor for speaking up. Schad’s reasoned approach is worth remembering at election time.
Interestingly, Pryor is now identifying this apparent vendetta as discrimination. She may be correct. If a judge or a jury believes she is right the $93,000 will look like a very good deal indeed.
It doesn’t really matter whether commissioners Vaughan and Kroeschen are working to harm Pryor politically, are closet misogynists or are just not able to read the handwriting on the wall. They have voted to burn tax dollars in a bonfire of their vanity and that serves no one in Morgan County except themselves.