Leaders comment on Moore accusations

Published 7:59 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate representing Alabama, have surfaced as the Dec. 12 election draws near.

Some of the alleged victims have said they were underage when Moore, who was in his 30s at the time, made advances of a sexual nature.

Moore has maintained his innocence.

Many of Chilton County’s elected officials have a number of concerns and questions about the timing of these allegations.

“If the allegations are true, I’m disgusted,” County Commissioner Joseph Parnell


However, he said the timing of the information being released “lends it to be suspect.”

“It’s hard to believe that a man like him could have done something like that in a small town and it not have come up before now,” Parnell said.

Jemison Councilman Donnie Lane also questions why these accusations have not been voiced sooner. He said the Democrats could be involved in the timing.

Parnell said Moore needs to be considered innocent until proven guilty. A sentiment shared by Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed and Thorsby Mayor Robert Hight.

Parnell said the accusations will eventually be proven or disproven, and if it is true Moore needs to be dealt with. However, if Moore is found innocent Parnell said “those who made the accusations need to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hight also questions the timing.

“It’s not like he hasn’t been in the spotlight,” Hight said.

He said the situation makes it difficult on the voters.

“If he is not proven guilty before the election, I am going to continue to support the Republican candidate, which I assume will still be him,” Parnell said.

If additional facts or evidence come to light, proving Moore is guilty then Parnell would write in a candidate. He said he would not vote for the Democratic candidate.

Lane thinks Moore will be found to be innocent.

“I’m still thinking about voting for him,” Lane said. “I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I vote for the person that I think is best.”

Reed remains undecided on who he will vote for in December, saying he is praying about the matter.

“America needs to turn back to prayer,” Reed said.

While he said he is not passing judgement, Reed did say accusations have been used to divide people.

“I have been in politics a long time and I feel a man is innocent until proven guilty,” Reed said.

State Rep. Jimmy Martin said he knows what it is like to have random accusations come up during an election. However, he said the number of women coming forward does give him concerns making it hard for him to support Moore.

“I will probably vote for Roy Moore because he is on the Republican ballot, but I will have to hold my nose and do it,” Martin said.

Sheriff John Shearon said while he understands that children handle things in different ways, but “40 years is a long time … it’s not unheard of, but I really don’t know.”

“He has been a judge all these years and all of a sudden these allegations are coming out,” Shearon said.

He said any investigation into the allegation could not be completely through the criminal justice system before the election.

Thorsby Town Council Neil Benson said he wants more facts about the situations before deciding who to vote for. However, he feels that Moore should drop out until the accusations are cleared. He said the situation is putting Alabama in a bad light.

“Unless these accusations are proven, I plan on voting for Roy Moore with everything going on he would be the better of the two,” Hight said.