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To the editor:
We now know local businessman George Rawlings is the benefactor of $100,000 anonymous donations to Oldham County Fiscal Court and $100,00 to the City of La Grange.
Although Rawlings wished to remain anonymous, and Judge Murner and Mayor Carter attempted to honor his wish, Magistrate Scott Davis and another individual, former county judge-executive candidate Dewey Wotring, filed lawsuits in an effort to force the donor’s name to become public. They said that someone might be trying to pay for a special favor.
Rawlings has said his religious beliefs lead him to avoid attention when making gifts. While skeptics find this almost impossible to believe, perhaps Rawlings attempted to do exactly what Jesus says to do in Matthew 6:1-2 – stay away from personal acclamation and give in secret.
Let’s stop for a moment and think about the cheap political insults directed at Judge Murner and Mayor Carter. Without any evidence or reason to suspect, Davis and Wotring brought a legal action that implies the judge and mayor might not be trustworthy enough to accept an anonymous donation.
Oldham County is not Chicago. It’s disappointing when politics in our county sink so low that a generous individual can’t step forward in a time of need, anonymous or not, without having his intentions questioned.
In my opinion, the issues raised by Magistrate Davis and his friend have little to do with discovering impropriety. They’re generating publicity for Davis by attacking Judge Murner with anything they think they can. After all, Davis voted at fiscal court to accept the donation many months before he brought his lawsuit. If he had misgivings, he should have spoken up and voted “no” when he had the chance.
The “anonymous donor” lawsuit isn’t the only legal action Davis has brought against Judge Murner. He has another suit pending concerning a possible violation of the Open Meetings Law. This suit also has an odor to it.
Just as he brought a suit to find out the name of a donor after voting to accept the anonymous donation, Davis brought his Open Meetings suit after sitting through an entire closed meeting without questioning the proceeding. You’d think someone concerned about the legality of a closed meeting would walk out, or at least object during the meeting. Davis did neither, which leads me to believe both lawsuits were filed with a self-serving agenda in mind.
One may suspect I am in Judge Murner’s pocket, but that is certainly not the case. In my last campaign Murner supported Mary Ellen Kinser against me.
As a former Oldham County judge-executive who balanced nine budgets, I know better than most how much Rawlings’ donation is appreciated and I find it regretful that civic-minded individuals are now on notice about potential consequences of being a Good Samaritan.
John W. Black. La Grange