To the editor:

As I read Tony Botkin’s well-researched June 25 article, “Expenses mount in fire chief case,” it occurred to me that the real operative question for Liberty Township’s constituents should be, “How much should a witch hunt cost?”

The direct costs of this personal mission of political retribution are now at approximately $100K and continuing to rise unabated. The vast majority of that amount is directly tied to actions instigated by the township trustees that would never have occurred if the trustees had simply followed standard management practices and obeyed Ohio law. Even if all of the previously undocumented allegations against the chief would ultimately turn out to be true, all could have been properly handled administratively if the guidelines noted above would have been followed.

Now, instead, more taxpayer monies are being spent as the trustees (notably process instigator Melanie Leneghan) are in damage control, trying to emerge from this whole expensive and unnecessary mess somehow untarnished.

I find it ironic that the trustee chairperson, Shyra Eichhorn, deflects by saying that the process must go forward because the chief is due his day in court. While that may be true, I still find it ironic because, in fact, it is now the trustees themselves that are under the political spotlight and in the court of common pleas due to their managerial ineptness.

In my opinion, if anyone needs to be shown the door, it should be those specific trustees who continue to perpetrate this cash-consuming witch hunt. Their ongoing patterns of blame deflection, personal agendas, undocumented accusations and continuing refusal to accept any personal responsibility for their own actions here are quite telling and a violation of the trust that the voters have put in them.

Bruce Barnes