As all of our readers can attest to, Liberty Dispatch has made no effort to investigate and expose the Democrat leaders of the county’s recent past. We figured a fresh start by new Republican leadership would soon make all of the past scandals, both the known and unknown ones, fade away in our memories and Liberty County’s reputation for good government could begin to be built.
But our self-imposed silence on the wrongdoing previous officeholders has its limits. It appears former Liberty County Commissioner of Precinct #1, Todd Fontenot, has used all of his resources including press connections and his Democrat brethren like former County Judge Tookie Kirkham, to paint a false picture of the current county judge. If these people still choose to try and influence local government, then their skeletons should not be off limits.
In recent months Fontenot attempted to make it look like the poor financial arrangement he and Kirkham and the commissioners’ court had with a private company they paid to manage the jail was a no brainer. That political spin was debunked when at no charge a professional and respected local lawyer researched, analyzed, and offered his professional opinion of whether this county should continue the relationship with the management company. Fontenot complained publicly about the expense of hiring the attorney and the poor results of attempted negotiations with the management company. His assertions were all wrong and the county is better off with Sheriff Bobby Rader managing the jail- as endorsed by Liberty Dispatch. People that keep up with local news are still awaiting prosecution of the people Fontenot, Kirkham, etc. had over the jail running the place and committing outrageous crimes.
Two other actions by Fontenot have led us to identifying one of his crimes while in office. The first action by Fontenot was his aggressive response to the firing of Connie Paintsil. Connie Paintsil was a political operative being paid Liberty County taxpayer money while she hustled votes for Fontenot and Tookie Kirkham. When her “job” was eliminated in cost saving measures, Fontenot and friends criticism of County Judge Craig McNair became a target. The second action, Fontenot has told people he will be running for Liberty County Judge in the next election.
His public acknowledgement that he wants to hold elective office again is audacious in view of just the first revelation of some of his wrongdoing while serving as commissioner. How will he deal with the proof that he allegedly committed theft while in office is hard to fathom. Fontenot had a generous car allowance when he was commissioner, but he decided to break the law and take the allowance and then to bill the county for work done on his car. That is the fraudulent double dipping and Liberty County taxpayers are not likely to consider voting for someone with so little respect for them. In fact, if folks in the District Attorney’s office are operating free from political consideration, we might all expect to hear about a grand jury indictment of Fontenot soon enough.
Or perhaps Fontenot will slip through their fingers with no public hearing like Phil Fitzgerald and Mark Beausoliel. Regardless, Liberty County taxpayers are fed up with money mongering of past elected officials and their stealing money. Despite Todd Fontenot and company constantly slinging mud on Liberty County Judge Craig McNair, Todd Fontenot is unlikely to do well running for any office.
Liberty County Judge Craig McNair(R) continues to protect the assets of Liberty County making the appropriate cuts in spending no matter which of the good ole boy network whines and tries to demonize him…