The Searcy paper has finally picked up on a story that I have been reporting on here for about a month: the potential legal violations of the appraiser who was hired by White County to appraise our shiny new OEM building in November. (And, of course, they did not credit The Patriot for their information. Surprise!)
This story ran in yesterday’s paper, but it strikingly misses the point of what I have been saying for weeks, and the point of the investigation that has been initiated by 2 White County JPs. At best, it is poor journalism. At worst, it is intellectually dishonest.
If you read the article in the paper–and the comments from the county judge–you would think that the JPs are just upset because they didn’t get their way, they didn’t like the outcome of the appraisal, they don’t like the judge, or they’re just ‘troublemakers.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
The paper failed to make a crucially important distinction:
The investigation is a direct request from elected members of the county government to make a ruling on whether or not Mr. Davis was licensed to conduct the appraisal.
The investigation is not a request for a ruling on the accuracy of the appraisal itself.
I think this is a very important clarification that the paper and those who stood to gain from the sale of the building would rather not make. Because if Mr. Davis is not licensed to conduct this type of appraisal, then he has violated the law of the state of Arkansas, and encouraged government officials–using taxpayer money–to enter into a contract under false pretenses. At that point, the accuracy or merits of the appraisal become moot.
Contrary to what the paper & county judge would like you to believe, this investigation is not a political game or a ‘gotcha’ tactic. This is a serious matter and they should be praising these JPs for having the courage to ask these questions. Instead, they are trying to distract.
The real issue here is whether or not Mr. Davis was licensed to conduct the appraisal he conducted and whether or not he broke the law. We should not allow anyone to change the conversation or to brush this under the rug.