‘Ex-councilman didn’t break law in removal’

Dear editor,

I am writing this letter because I am having trouble understanding why something has been reported the way it has been in Rockdale.

I wanted to address this when it first came up months ago but just kept thinking that it would all be cleared up and would also be reported.

It was to some ex tent but recently has been on the news again and it seems to be only part of the story.

I am referring to the city council seat that was held by Griffin Rogers.

Griffin (E.G.) is my friend. I went through school with him, know his family, know him to be a good person and I voted for him to be on our city council.

The “controversy” over taxes:

Griffin did not even owe those taxes and the person that did owe them paid them and that should have been the end of it.

Last week, and this week, it keeps being reported that the seat is open and that it is vacant because Griffin was removed over a controversy over unpaid taxes in Milam County.

That bothered me every time I heard it and it sounded like Griffin didn’t pay his taxes and was kicked off the city council.

I thought that was an unfair report. Why did it not stop and say the seat had been held by Griffin but was now vacant?

Or why did it not say, after mentioning he was removed for unpaid taxes, that he actually never owed the taxes and it was cleared up?

I talked to Griffin about this and told him that I thought it made him sound like a criminal. He said that is exactly the way it made him feel.

The taxes owed were less than $400, they were not owed by Griffin and it was paid by the responsible party.

So, I do not understand why it is still reported this way. I am not the only one that has contacted Griffin about this and he has just let it go because he knows that the people that know him, know the truth.

I find it very hard to sit by and listen to a report that makes him sound like he broke the law and was removed from the city council for that reason.

How would you feel if you had been accused of something that you did not do, took the steps to correct the error and then had to have your friends, family, and the people of a town that you grew up in and tried to make a difference hear a report repeatedly that made you sound like a criminal?

It’s not fair. Sincerely, Monique Gebhart

(Editor’s note: The Reporter published Councilman Rogers’ response to the issue, as repeated in the above letter, on Sept. 17, the edition which reported on his removal. Subsequent election stories have only mentioned the council vacancy existed because Rogers was “...removed from office in September” and did not use the phrase “controversy over unpaid taxes.”—M.B.)

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2010-01-14 digital edition

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