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Wants public apology from water board




To the Editor:

On September 2, my wife was the office manager for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District. While performing her duties that day, she discovered that her boss had removed a portion of his personnel file. My wife then told an assistant in the Letcher County Judge/Executive’s office what she had discovered. She also told the Judge’s assistant that the Water and Sewer District apparently had purchased a new pickup truck illegally since no bids had been solicited for the truck.

The next day my wife reported to work at 8 a.m., and a little past 8 the superintendent, Tim Reed, came into the office and disrespected my wife. He cursed at her and told her that she was going to get him fired by telling the Judge’s office that he had removed part of his personnel file and told her that she was just mad because he bought that “f-ing” truck and that he would never step foot back in that office again.

My wife was an honest and loyal employee for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District for nearly three years and knew that she could not work for the LCWSD anymore because of the abuse she had received for doing the right thing. She knew if Supt. Reed would never step foot back in the office again, as he stated, she would be unable to perform the duties of her job and she resigned for the good of Letcher County Water and Sewer District and for her well-being. She first called me and explained what happened and I told her to quit if that was what she wanted to do. She said she was going to quit and I told her to get her personal belongings and leave the office. However, she said she wanted to finish sending out all the water bills before leaving because the customers needed to know what they owed for water that month. I told her not to worry about getting the bills out, but she would not listen to me. She is a caring person who has always looked out for the well-being of others.

The next week, I called Tim Reed and confronted him about what he had said to my wife. After I did not get any satisfaction or an apology from Reed, I talked to Phillip Back, the chairman of the board of directors for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District. Back would only tell me that he would “look into it.”

On September 17, I attended the monthly meeting of the Water and Sewer District Board of Directors, held at the courthouse, and addressed the board, Chairman Back and Supt. Reed. Neither Back, Reed, nor any member of the board gave me any satisfaction for the reason that my wife was treated the way she was. I asked the board what kind of action would be taken and Back said the board would have to discuss the matter. I told the board that all I wanted was a public apology, but I must have set my expectations too high to expect anything like that to occur. Back did say the board would give me an answer at its next meeting and I said I would be there.

On September 24, a Letcher County Water and Sewer District Board meeting was scheduled and notice of the meeting was posted the day before on the front door of the courthouse. I went to the courthouse that evening and learned the meeting had been canceled.

Another Water and Sewer District Board meeting was scheduled for October 1 and notice was also posted the day before on the front door of the courthouse. I went to the courthouse that evening and arrived just a few minutes after 6 p.m. When I went inside, some of the board members and Supt. Reed were sitting at a table. I asked them if they were having a meeting and they said they were but that the meeting was an executive session closed to the public. I then asked if they had an answer for me concerning how my wife was treated and they said the matter would be discussed during the next regular scheduled meeting. During this time another board member walked in and sat down, so I don’t know if the meeting had officially begun prior to him arriving. I left unwillingly and felt that justice would never be delivered by the current LCWSD board members.

I sincerely feel that I have been lied to and that the board is not going to take any disciplinary action concerning how my wife was treated. It has been 43 days since this incident occurred and my wife has not gotten a public apology. The Letcher County Water and Sewer District Board has not taken any disciplinary action against Supt. Reed and I have not gotten an answer to the question of why my wife was treated this way for telling the truth about what was going on.

I feel that the LCWSD board is not going to take any action because it has been too long since the incident occurred and they think I will forget about it. I will never forget what happened until my wife receives a public apology.

Many people would have hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the LCWSD board, but I prefer to get justice by encouraging fellow human beings to step up to the plate and conduct themselves like men and women and do the right thing. I set my expectations low when I tried to get an apology from the LCWSD board and its members so far have failed to meet my low expectations. Hopefully I was wrong about some of the board members and just maybe this letter will encourage them to be their own man and stand up for what is right.
MIKE JOSEPH
Van



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