Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2008 | It has been a couple of years since I have seen or talked to Ian Trowbridge. And I have never met his attorney, Cory Briggs. But to both of them, I offer a great big “thank you!”

I am grateful to Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom for finally bringing some sanity to the whole Southeastern Economic Development Corp. saga. Although the merits of the Trowbridge case are still to be heard and examined carefully in a future court hearing, Judge Bloom’s decision, for now, protects citizens and taxpayers from rewarding the misconduct of former President Carolyn Smith. A recently completed audit of SEDC practices determined that Smith’s covert payment of nearly a million dollars in extra compensation to herself and others at the agency rose to the level of fraud. It has been the argument of myself and others that Smith neither needed nor deserved the grossly overgenerous severance payment she received, in light of her allegedly fraudulent behavior.

In addition to having the severance payment stopped in this case, I still hope the district attorney’s office separately indicts and prosecutes Carolyn Smith for the fraudulent conduct that was highlighted in the auditor’s report. I have to believe that the auditing firm would never use the words “fraud” or “fraudulent” in their report without clearing those allegations through their own attorneys, for fear of being sued for defamation by Smith. Let the trial proceed.

Smith badly betrayed the public trust. Taxpayers and concerned citizens like Mr. Trowbridge, me, and all others demand that full justice be brought in a case of The People vs. Carolyn Smith.

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