Wednesday, May 25, 2011

“HINCHED”: GUARANTEES LOSS FOR TAXPAYERS

When Wes Hinch was elected as the first Republic Liberty County County Attorney since the post reconstruction era after the Civil War, Liberty Dispatch had high hopes he would be an excellent County Attorney and reaffirm to voters that voting for Republicans can benefit the county (despite Hinch’s earlier participation in an unsuccessful scheme to take water rights from landowners in Liberty County). But we bit our lip for too long as we hoped that what seemed to be a pattern by the new County Attorney were just rookie mistakes. Now we are sorry to report Hinch has once again disappointed Liberty County. Because of a pattern of behavior like we will outline below, we have coined a new term amongst us. It is called “hinched”. “Hinched” is when an elected official makes an unusual decision that can only be explained by the fact that instead of doing what is best for the taxpayer, the official is either a pitiful decision maker or their own agenda is more important to them than what the taxpayer thinks. See if you agree:

The local news has reported the late Odell McDuffie Jr.’s family has filed a lawsuit against Liberty County for gross negligence in maintaining the vehicle involved in this tragedy. The lawsuit alleges Liberty County should be held accountable for Deputy McDuffie’s death to the tune of $25 million dollars.
Liberty Dispatch has known for weeks a lawsuit was being considered, but the sadness and the shock of losing such a young husband and father and friend in this community was bound to delay any decisions by the family. After Odell’s insurance benefits were cut off to the family so abruptly and when the effects of losing the main breadwinner in the family hit his wife and children month after month, there was little doubt an investigation into the rumors of poor maintenance would be brought to an attorney.

What has surprised Liberty Dispatch, and what we think should alarm taxpayers, is the County Attorney’s response to Odell McDuffie, Jr.’s widow’s lawsuit. Rather than sympathize with the family of a fallen veteran law enforcer’s family, County Attorney Wes Hinch appears to have gone out of his way to appear antagonistic towards them. He has also gone out of his way to make certain Liberty County taxpayers will lose. We explain below.

Despite having an expert lawyer in this area provided for free by the county’s insurance (Traveler’s Insurance), Liberty County Commissioners met in regular session Monday and approved hiring local attorney Ed Norwood to represent the county in the lawsuit filed by the family of Odell McDuffie Jr. County Attorney. Wes Hinch has publicly expressed his confidence that the McDuffie family’s lawsuit is merely an attempt to cash in, this is an outrage. Hinch seems almost chomping at the bits to get at their claims but he has also said publicly this week that though the staff of his office was “more than qualified to defend the county”, it was a time factor that concerned him. There is no doubt there are competent individuals in his office who could defend this suit, him excluded.

If the County Attorney is a sensitive caring business-minded advocate for the county, he would allow Traveler’s Insurance to do the work taxpayers paid them for when the policies’ premiums were paid through the years. Their lawyer is likely to have handled many more of these cases than Ed Norwood (a local attorney known more for oil and gas law). The last thing Hinch should do is pit the taxpayers and their oil and gas attorney against a grieving widow and the family and their Houston plaintiff’s attorney in a case that could involve millions of dollars. The Liberty County taxpayers have been shifted by Hinch and the commissioners from a no lose situation to one in which we will either lose millions or we will be symbolically sitting on the front row to witness a the widow of a local hero leave the courtroom with no undetermined rightful compensation.

Why? Why would Wes Hinch make this kind of decision! It is simple if you know some of his other stunts over the last few months. We are being “hinched”. Ask the County Attorney why he is doing this and you will hear the same kind of sales pitch he was peddling a few short years ago when he was trying to talk Liberty County landowners into giving up their rights to the groundwater underneath their property.

Hinch either is a poor decision maker or perhaps he has “hooked up” in some form or fashion with Ed Norwood. Add to the questions about this the continuing question about Hinch’s commitment to the Republican Party as Liberty County Attorney Ed Norwood is infamous among some for his historical hatred of Republicans over the years. The only poised winner in the upcoming events will be Ed Norwood.

Regardless of what has happened on this matter thus far, Liberty Dispatch is sickened at the prospect of the large retainer fee taxpayers are footing to hire Ed Norwood. And the estimated $300 an hour we will continue to pay as he prepares to demolish the McDuffie’s in court.

Liberty County, get ready to be “Hinched” - again…

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor Wes, he has fallen and he cant get up...

Anonymous said...

Why isnt Hinch's idol Mike Little mentioned in this story?

Anonymous said...

Looks like ole Hinch is trying to peddle another bs buddy deal like the water district crap he and Rep. Otto tried to put on us and our water wells.

Anonymous said...

If a county's officials run out of money can they just borrow bond money or do the taxpayers get to vote?

Anonymous said...

Let's see this County Attorney has backed off finding ways to discourage juvenile crime and he is hiring expensive lawyers to defend the county when expert attorneys are available for free..... hmmmmm. Is he doing all of this so he can brag about being within his budget. This man needs to do his job and stop charging his crony politics to other areas of the budget.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure who to blame that water scam on more. Terri Bivens out of John Otto's office led me to believe Otto was the hook and bull on the deal, but some locals said Wes Hinch was making the rounds trying to talk people into it. I am just glad voters were alert.

Anonymous said...

For the kind of money a big shot cigar smoking Democrat like Norwood will charge this community the county could have hired another assistant county attorney and got a years work out of them!

Anonymous said...

This lawyer may be real smart but he is not ready for prime time as far as running the county attorney's office.

Anonymous said...

This article may let the commissioners off the hook but not me. They should have voted "no" and let Ed Norwood look elsewhere for a big pay day. It tells me we still have a great deal of work to do in coming elections.

Anonymous said...

VERY DISAPPOINTING

Anonymous said...

If the county did not maintain Odell's vehicle responsibly and it contributed to what happened then I hope the county's insurance will do the right thing and settle. I agree it makes no sense to bring in another attorney.

Anonymous said...

The reason Odell is dead is because of Greg Arthur. The records will show that there was a long list of problems with the car for many years and Arthur ignored Odell because he was a black man. Arthur should be sued personally and charged with criminal negligence.

Anonymous said...

Wes Hinch has a general approach to just about anything any one says to him. He tells you what he can't do. He can't handle this case because he and his staff are too be can. No telling what kind of psychobable excuse he has that explains why he can't let the insurance lawyer handle it.

Anonymous said...

I never will forget Rep Otto after Ike hit. I was working in the relief effort in Liberty County when he (Otto) drove up. I watched him and this is what he did. Otto got out surveyed the situation and saw what was going on. We were passing out bags of ice to people who were driving up. Otto went over and grabbed a bag of ice, jumped in front of workers who had been there for 12 very hot hours and handed his single bag out to a person stopped as they were driving by, just then an unknown female popped up and took a picture of of Otto handing the bag of ice over to the person who had stopped. Right after the picture, Otto put his nose up in the air, walked off and got in his air conditioned Cadillac and drove off. Later I identified this guy and found out he used the photo in his election. I got angry, this man is everything that's wrong with politicians. When I checked Otto out a little more, I found out this guy was trying to establish a water district on water wells to scalp taxpayers and I was angry again. Now I have found out about the proposed redistricting involving Otto and his representation area getting even larger. Now Im angry again. I was at a recent Republican meeting and saw Otto come in and speak about how great he was and how great his projects were, after speaking, this big buffoon just walks out like he was too good to talk to us individually. Again I got angry...

Who the hell does this guy think he is? When is someone going to run against him? Can we recall this guy?

Anonymous said...

Wes Hinch was Otto's right hand man in the water district debacle.

Anonymous said...

Its time to work on getting Otto booted from office next.

Anonymous said...

Whos is running against Otto after redistricting? Should be interesting. Otto, Hinch, Hight, Little and Wisegerber- corrupt. All birds of a feather. Dayton power mongers.

Anonymous said...

Hinch + Little + Ed Norwood= $$$$$$$/Power/x2

Anonymous said...

Is Little going to be noticed of his own grand jury?

Who is going to be his atty? bet it wont be his office puppet.

Anonymous said...

McDuffie knew that Greg Arthur and Mike Little setup Janet Harrelson. They had to make him go away.

Anonymous said...

Where are the stories on Mike Little? Inquiring minds want to know. Whats up in the blue case, why the gap in reporting? Please do tell...

Anonymous said...

'do tell', yourself, duhhhNesa!!!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Bradshaw is a standup guy. The only reason a complaint has been filed against him is because it was orchestrated by Vanesa Brashier.

Anonymous said...

standup guy? which body part??