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April 15, 2024

Shelby County – Once Again, Truth Trumps Propaganda

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On August 28, 2023

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

During the last election, we saw the common political propaganda popping up across social media in contested races.  One in particular however got our attention, the treasurer race.  We sat silent as we do not get involved in election matters.

While we do not know who actually started the false narrative regarding the current treasurer and the alleged loss of grants at the Shelby County Airport because of her, the lies continued well after the election.  Not only do the lies continue, but we know for a fact several people know the truth as it was disclosed in a public meeting yet those same people sit silent when the misinformation continued to spread in social media posts that they are commenting on.

A local social media page has become the one-stop shop for misinformation hits on those they do not like by using the age-old tactic of anonymous posts.  That person never faces accountability for their posting due to hiding behind a page name rather than their own. From there the posts gather comments that are not anonymous and get spread across the internet without any regard to the truth of the matter. Who started the lie or propaganda becomes a guessing game and they can never be publicly embarrassed by the lies.

One such recent post is what made us decide to publish this information today. Christine Matlock posted the following statement in regards to an anonymous post about the County Treasurer Erica Firnhaber. This comment had nothing to do with the original topic and appears to be nothing more than what we call “dogpiling”.

“Wow….just wow…..Do i understand some grant money wasn’t received by the airport a while back because she refused to sign the paper? And it appears in old board minutes that there was some money lost for the windows at the courthouse. Was that something she didnt sign, too? I think it’s time that we get some answers. And she should be the one to provide them. I’m NOT saying she is guilty of anything, let me be clear. But this smells to high heaven and nepotism is of issue here. That is my opinion.”
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Six people liked the comment and at least one who knows the truth appears to have ignored the matter rather than setting the record straight.
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That one person, Citizen of the Year Jake Cole.  Jake is posting messages after the above comment and we know he knows the truth yet he said nothing to set the record straight.
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Chris Boehm, Jake, and Carol Cole attended the Shelby County Airport board meeting in February of this year and what was recorded in the minutes clearly proves the lies being told about the treasurer losing grant money at the airport are just that, lies.
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“Jake said he wanted Chris to here more about the grant the airport was to receive and didn’t.”
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Note Jake’s comment.  He is clearly under the impression the airport was to receive a grand and didn’t. The allegations that continue to spread about the treasurer are that the treasurer failed to do her job and it cost the airport a grant.  That allegation is a total fabrication and not remotely true.
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Airport commissioner Steve Wempen set the record straight during the meeting.
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“Steve mentions that the airport didn’t lose any grant that the grant is there for us to use whenever we want but because of the county not being able to comply in the GATA portal with the year end financials, the airport couldn’t use it when needed, until the GATA information is complete.” (emphasis added)
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Did everyone catch that?  The airport DID NOT lose any grant.  For those that have stated as much and blamed the treasurer we would expect they would remove such false statements and set the record straight.  For those who refuse to set the record straight after knowing the truth, it becomes clear their interest is not in the truth.
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The minutes further disclose key points that Coles’ and Boehm have been silent on.  The Airport Commissioner would not have signed the paperwork either after knowing more about what needed to be done.
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“Steve mentions the county Treasurer not signing because she couldn’t sign anything knowing that the county wasn’t able to comply at that time. Steve also mentions that now knowing more of what needs to be done that he wouldn’t sign it either.”
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Other key facts in this matter include the treasure was actually locked out of the GATA system so she could not have signed if she wanted to for a period of time. When she did have access she would not sign it because the county was not in compliance with matters as required. It was at that point when the control of the GATA system was assigned to the State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke.  Did Kroncke not sign the needed paperwork as well?
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Also now exposed in the public record is the fact the past county board was the ones not doing their job and did nothing to correct the problem.  The new county board that took office in December of 2022 is in fact doing its job and as pointed out in the minutes, the treasurer was given access to the system in January of this year.
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The spreading of false information by an anonymous person appears to be more about creating political hit pieces rather than actually fixing anything.  As this cowardous behavior continues it appears more people are starting to see it for what it is.  Those who post in that fashion and never even ask a question of the person they are running their hit pieces on clearly indicate their motives are not focused on truth.
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We thank Airport Commissioner Wempen for speaking the truth to the matter as well as the person who tipped us off about the meeting attended by the Coles’ and Chris Boehm who know the truth but appeared to not want to debunk the lies being told.
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We thank all those not willing to sign documents that would indicate the county was in compliance with matters when in fact they were not.
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A copy of the Airport Board meeting minutes can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.

 

 

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