Archive for the ‘2010 Elections’ Category

I received an email last night from somebody in the county all in a tizzy about the mailer that Carol McCaslin sent out about Ernzen working at Belton and still completing her role as Clay County Auditor. I had known about Ms. Ernzen working in Belton awhile back, but I didn’t know if she was still working there today. Turns out she is. I did what any sensible person would do, I asked her if she was still there.

Here is the response I received:

I am the Clay County Auditor and I work every day for the citizens of Clay County. I also work as the finance director for the city of Belton. It isn’t much different from any other CPA with multiple clients, but I only have two. My days typically start very early and end very late.

When I was appointed by the Governor to finish out William Norris’ unexpired term as County Auditor, after he was forced to resign when it was discovered that he had a felony record, the city asked me to stay. They offered me a very flexible schedule that would allow me to serve Clay County first, in return for my in-depth knowledge of governmental accounting and my experience as a CPA and auditor.

My passion is ensuring transparency and accountability in our County government and I hope very much to be allowed by Clay County voters to continue.

Some things about this mailer:

1) There’s been no accusation, nor is there any evidence, that Ms. Ernzen has failed to execute the job of Clay County Auditor while she has been working in Belton. Admittedly, as she did above, it probably is hard work and a lot of hours.

2) I thought we celebrated hard-work in America?

3) This is probably the thing that irritates me the most about this. Vic Hurlbert was once our County Auditor. Hurlbert ran his own private auditing firm while he was in office. Did he shut his doors on his private practice when he was auditor? No. Should he have. Only if he wasn’t capable of doing both. (We won’t get into his actual performance as auditor here.)

4) McCaslin has no CPA credentials and is not an auditor. Which begs the question, who will be overseeing the auditing of the county and insure that it is done correctly?

5) Oh, this is funny, and I hope you are reading this sitting down. In an email to Sheila Ernzen on November 5, 2012, prior to the last election, McCaslin basically endorsed Ernzen in the auditor’s race:

From: "McCaslin, Carol" <<>>
Date: November 5, 2012 at 3:20:28 PM CST
To: "Ernzen, Sheila" <<>>
Subject: Good Luck

Sorry I missed you this morning.  We may not agree on some things, but there is 
no question that you are the best for the Auditor.

Good luck tomorrow.

At least it will be over !!

Carol McCaslin

PDF of the email.

If you wouldn’t mind, share this post with a friend here in Clay County.

A couple of weeks ago someone with a Facebook account with the name “Gerry Byrne” posted on my Meanderings Facebook wall claiming that Carol McCaslin had been indicted on a fraud scheme.

I contacted a local politico and this individual said that they hadn’t heard a thing about this.

I’m busy, it was an annoying Facebook post posted by someone else. A couple of days later it occurred to me that this post probably wasn’t fair. Nothing online produced any evidence to show the post to be legitimate. I even went as far to comment on the post to see if the person making the claim could produce any evidence. “Gerry Byrne” never responded. Being that I didn’t write the post. I just left it thinking it wasn’t that big of a deal.

This morning I received a note from Ms. McCaslin’s lawyer alleging the post to be libelous and defamatory. It was also requested that it be removed.

I happily removed it this morning. I’ve also turned off the function that allows other people to post to my page. I’ve always said before on the blog, I believe in the truth. To the best of my knowledge there was no truth to the claim. Plus, I was never alleging there was.

I mean this sincerely. I apologize to Ms. McCaslin. I’d have happily removed it had she just emailed me. Hopefully she didn’t waste a bunch of money on a lawyer for this. But, hey, that’s people. She wasted a lawyer’s time and my time with something that could have easily been addressed otherwise.

Best of luck to Ms. McCaslin in the coming election…she’s going to need it.

Justice has prevailed in Clay County. From the Kansas City Fallen Star:

A former Clay County auditor must spend 30 days in the county jail for tampering with computer data involving nude photos of a woman that he stole from her cellphone and posted on a website, a circuit court judge ordered Wednesday.

William James Norris, 29, also received a four-year suspended sentence and was placed on five years’ probation for a felony election law violation.

Norris was charged in November 2011 with computer tampering and making a false swearing when he signed paperwork stating that he had no felony conviction on his record. He pleaded guilty in November to both criminal charges.

Norris was taken into custody following Wednesday’s hearing.

There is no spiking the football here. As I said back in August 2011: “I have very little to say with regards to Mr. Norris. I appreciate that he has decided to do the right thing [referring to his resignation]. I also hope that Mr. Norris is able to get the help that he so desperately needs. At some point in the future, I hope he is able to return to a productive life as a citizen of Clay County.”

And for the record, Mr. Norris, I’d be happy to give you the chance to tell how you originally ended up in this race. I believe that story is the one the people of Clay County deserve to hear.