Thursday, May 19, 2011

Opinion: Willis: Stop the Murder Madness

In politics, there are always obfuscations, misrepresentations, deceptions, and misleading statements during a campaign as both sides seek to get an electoral advantage. We see it each and every day on the cable news networks as Democrats and Republicans jockey for position in the upcoming 2012 elections. However, even in Washington there is a limit to what most politicos are willing to do to win. Most certainly, there typically comes some semblance of respect and honor after a foe is vanquished.

That is not the case in Helena-West Helena. Throughout the 2010 campaign, Arnell Willis through his campaign minions accused James Valley of murder and financial impropriety. His campaign accused then Treasurer Michael Boone of criminal behavior and said he would go to jail. Well this week has seen the prosecutor dismiss all criminal charges against Boone, but the Willis henchmen keep stirring up these tired old false allegations through another installment of the "Mad Letter Writer."

Let's take up the murder allegations that surfaced first on campaign flyers put out by Willis supporters. The Mad Letter writer says again this week that James Valley is being investigated for a murder involving a woman whose family is now suing the city.

First, she died in a tragic traffic accident. It's unfortunate that her family will have to read this, but Willis needs to stop allowing his supporters to spread these lies. The traffic accident and the subsequent events have been investigated thoroughly. The state police reports have been posted on this website. It was a one-car accident.

Second, the 911 log has been preserved and shows that the accident was reported from a call from a residential phone line in the area. James Valley does not arrive until after the accident, and the deceased's blood alcohol content was .31, which is almost four times the legal limit. This is a level where people begin to pass out. In short, the woman was drunk behind the wheel and likely died as a result of her choice to drive while intoxicated.

As for finance, that has been thoroughly audited and investigated. The auditors accounted for every dime and have said some expense reimbursements should be paid back. They have referred that to the prosecutors. The prosecuting attorney has said previously that no criminal behavior has happened and that the issues are civil in nature. Willis has consistently misrepresented those as well.

Willis needs to publicly condemn these allegations that keep surfacing from supporters. He needs to publicly say the truth. James Valley is not guilty of murdering anyone and that this matter has already been throughly investigated. Willis needs to stop the attacks of the previous administration and begin focusing on the work of his own, which so far has been characterized by illegal spending, illegal pay raises, hiring of ex-cons as department heads, hiring of a former nursing home patient as a police chief, and by general incompetence.

Willis is the "may-uh." It's time he acted like one.

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