Smith boycotts ethics hearing

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sam Smith, the subject of one of the complaints brought before the Marshall County Ethics Committee Monday afternoon, was not in attendance, nor was his attorney. Chairwoman Mary Ann Neill expressed surprised she had not been notified the lawyer would not be there, especially since the date and time had been agreed with him. Smith's wife Beth was in the audience and she spoke up to say, "I have no idea what's going on, but I request an adjournment until we have representation."

At this point Commis-sioner Linda Williams-Lee made a motion to adjourn, but it died for lack of a second and the meeting continued.

There were two complaints brought before the Ethics Committee by Tri-County Environmental Association. Both involved the recent application by Waste Management Inc. for a landfill just south of Cornersville.

One was against Mike Waggoner, Smith's real estate agent and a member of the Marshall County Board of Public Utilities. It alleged that he had a personal interest in the deal between Smith and Waste Management, and could have used his position on the Utilities Board to influence the outcome.

Waggoner was not there, but his lawyer, Don Scholes, said his client's position on the utility board did not give him any ability to influence a decision on the proposed landfill site because that particular area does not get water and sewer service from the Marshall County Board of Public Utilities.

It gets service from Lewisburg Water and Wastewater, who bought out the Cornersville water and sewer system.

Scholes asked the committee to dismiss the complaint against his client, but committee members were unwilling to do that. Instead they asked for a copy of the real estate listing agreement and a copy of the sales contract. Scholes said he had no problem with such a request and would be glad to ask for the documents.

He said, "Mr. Waggoner has got caught up in the . . .Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 18, 2008, for entire story.