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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lynchburg Mayor Carl Hutcherson: Conundrum

The Lynchburg Mayor Carl Hutcherson is facing a seven count indictment, Charges include the misuse of charity funds, and disability funds of people in his charge, and lying to a federal investigators.

Most have taken the position, they will support the mayor and give him the opportunity to defend himself. He does after all claim these charges are without basis. And he does have the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.

The Grand Jury contemplated the charges for over a year, before they were unsealed. We are certain they used due diligence before these charges were leveled at our Mayor. How the case will unfold is still yet in the telling. We know the charges, but not the base of evidence.

Mayor Carl Hutcherson has stated he will clear his name. He has stepped down from his ministry, but hopes to return one day. He has not stepped down from his position of Mayor. There is a growing voice that he should step down and relinquish his duties in city council.

From the left the Lynchburg News and Advance has posted its opinion that for the reputation of our city he should do the honorable thing and resign. From the right, the Lynchburg Area Blog is saying the same.

Channel 13 News which tends to be more even handed has not offered its opinion, but is reporting the pros and cons and how the community is responding. Some in favor of Carl Hutcherson staying on, some against.

The city council itself has appeared pretty much mute on the subject. Its much like a stunned silence. And they are letting Carl Hutcherson room to make that personal decision. The Mayor says he is ready to do the city's business.

Before the case is even going to trial there is a lot of squabbling. The US Attorney John Brownlee wants to remove the defense attorney, and the defense attorney, John Fishwick, wants to have Brownlee and all his minions removed. If anything this is going to hard and bitter case.

Although unrelated the Mayor's son is also charged with drug dealing offences. This should not reflect on the Mayor and all sides appear to be leaving this issue alone, at least for now.

What we have here is a mess, most of the community that cares are still in shock. Unfortunately, many in the community just don't care about the Mayor or city government. They have their own lives to live and less than 15 percent even vote in the local elections held in May.

The Mayor has a true decision to make. It should be based on his conscience, he claims innocence. If he is guilty of using the funds of others for his personal gain, there is only one course he can take that will give him any semblance of respect. If by some chance the charges are false, ones that took a grand jury over a year of investigation to consider, we hope indeed that he does clear his name, both legally and morally.

To read all our posts on Carl Hutcherson go here.

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