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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mayor Carl Hutcherson: The Sunlight and The Shadow

The squeeze is on Mayor Carl Hutcherson. And you can't help to have compassion for someone who is feeling each turn of the vise screws putting him under intense pressures.

Tomorrow, his son is headed to a preliminary hearing. In the case, if not delayed his son facing charges of intent to distribute drugs will find his way to the next step of the judicial process in Virginia, that could lead ultimately to a very stiff jail term.

Then, on Monday the Mayor himself will find himself in court in Roanoke, his lawyers are seeking dismissal of the charges from this seven count indictment in Federal Court. Charges include bilking Social Security from the disabled, stripping a charity of funds for his own use, and lying to federal agents and bank officials. It will not take anything short of a miracle if the charges are dismissed. But miracles do happen, we will wait and see.

On the horizon the Mayor faces some serious challenges with his Church. The Richmond Times is reporting today:

"The Rev. David Drinkard, Lynchburg District superintendent, met with Hutcherson yesterday to outline options spelled out in the Book of Discipline, the denomination's laws. Drinkard will preach Sunday at Trinity."

"'Drinkard said Hutcherson "does not wish to cause additional distress for his congregation or further embarrassment for the United Methodist Church and believes that in their best interest, removing himself as pastor is the best course of action."'

And there is a possibility of a trial in his Church. To determine if he is fit to still be a pastor.

Mayor Carl Hutcherson has his trials and tribulations set out for him. Job (from the Bible) would perhaps wince under challenges that Carl Hutcherson is facing, and find some comparison to his own struggles.

And although, Carl Hutcherson has asked for a leave of absence from his duties at the Church, he has not asked for the same of his civic duties as Mayor. Many think he should step down as Mayor, but they can see the end of the line in May when new City Council elections are held.

If Carl Hutcherson did bilk Social Security benefits from the disabled, and if he did take funds from a charity for his own use, he brought these trials and tribulations on himself. And he should face the the consequences of his actions. If it becomes clear that is what has happened, we hope that Mayor Hutcherson will own up and ask for the forgiveness from those he hurt.

As of now, Carl Hutcherson is adamant about his innocent. He claims the charges are false. If true, a terrible service has been done to our Mayor, and that too should be fully investigated.

Yet, we cannot be so entirely naive that the charges would come after a year long Grand Jury investigation are totally without merit. And rather than a dismissal of the charges, we would favor a full disclosure of what indeed did happen.

And perhaps if all is brought out into the truth sunlight, the shadow of doubt of what happened, will help us all resolve who did a wrong to who.

To read all our posts on Carl Hutcherson go here.


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