Twisting in the wind
Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014
* I take no position yet on the current allegations against Treasurer Dan Rutherford. However, the fact that he’s unable to publicly fight back because the employee won’t officially resign until Feb. 10th bothers me. And the fact that the alleged victim here is remaining anonymous, while understandable on one level, is bothersome on a political level.
So, we get stories like this one…
We don’t even know what the specific allegations are. All we’re getting is incredibly vague stuff like this, and while I don’t want to defend inappropriate or unethical behavior, Rutherford is at a major disadvantage here because it’s very difficult to respond to a personnel matter.
* Then again, even if we knew the exact allegations, it could be just a “he said, he said” situation and how does Rutherford disprove that? Word on the grapevine is that others may talk, but that’s just the grapevine. If anything is substantiated by someone else, however, Rutherford is gonna be in major trouble here. Maybe even fatal.
* On the other hand, I am growing more uncomfortable with this “independent” investigator hired by Rutherford. From an e-mail sent to employees yesterday…
Rutherford’s people say the investigator will be asking people who have said they’re witnesses or corroborators. But what protections do these folks have? If they refuse to answer to avoid self-incrimination, what will happen to them? Rutherford’s people seem surprised at this question. Of course, they say, nobody’s gonna get fired or punished over what they say or refuse to say.
Under what authority is this investigator operating? Rutherford’s people say the treasurer has the authority to order up such an investigation. But what are the limits of this guy’s powers? No real answer.
Rutherford may be serious about getting to the bottom of this. But this probe could also be used to smoke out his interior enemies.
Here again, Rutherford appears to be at a disadvantage. I’m not sure how to resolve this in the time available before the primary. On the one hand, I feel quite bad for the guy. On the other, we do have to take this stuff seriously and he will eventually have to answer questions. But how? And when?
* And the Tribune has a valid point today…