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Williams responds to Parnell impeachment warning

By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer

 

Chiton County Commissioner Allen Williams issued a response to Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell’s warning to the commission during a meeting on June 22.

Parnell issued his warning to the commission during a May 25 meeting. Information from confidential executive sessions had been leaked on two separate occasions, and Parnell stated that if it happened a third time, he would bring impeachment charges against the person responsible.

Following another executive session during the June 22 meeting, Williams brought the warning up, claiming it was he that Parnell was referring to.

“The two references he made, only applies to one person,” Williams said. “One of them is me and Joe [Headley], [at] Main Street Café, the other reference about the bonding agent was me, and I don’t deny either one of them.”

The information that was provided to the agent had to do with economic development plans that involved the acquisition of land, according to Parnell. Different parties expressed interest in bringing business to one of the pieces of land that was being discussed during an executive session.

However, those economic development plans could potentially be put into danger when discussed with a bonding agent who has no working relationship with Chilton County, according to Parnell.

“If he [bonding agent] were to go out to one of the people that he has an existing relationship with, and tell them the things that somebody on this commission told him, they could go to the very few site selectors that are in the state and figure out pretty quickly who that person was,” Parnell said. “He is not bound in any way to you [Williams] or any of us, and we could lose a project that would be one of the largest employers in our county because someone up here talked outside of executive session about that.”

Williams went on to say that his discussion with the bonding agent had to do with financing of a wastewater treatment project, and he felt that there were no violations of executive session privilege on his part.

“I did not give up anything that was discussed,” Williams said. “You [Parnell] basically threatened impeachment. “If you think you need to follow through with that, then go right ahead Mr. Chairman.”