BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
County Commissioner Tim White strongly defended himself near the close of Wednesday's meeting of the Greene County Ethics Committee, assuring the members of his good intent in having performed work under contract for the Greene County School System.
The matter was brought before the committee as a potential conflict of interest and possible violation of state law.
White is part-owner of A&W Excavating & Hauling, LLC, which performed $22,190 of work in March for the Greene County School System, following a formal bid process, by installing the sewer system at the new Chuckey-Doak High School Fieldhouse.
When it came time on Wednesday for White to offer his statements, he spoke of his lack of intent and the meaning of ethics.
"I think Mr. [David] Crum alluded to the lack of knowledge on my part. I'll call it ignorance," he said. "Some tell me that's no excuse, and I'm not going to use it for an excuse."
White emphasized that he "has done nothing ethically wrong."
He said that when he voted as a County Commissioner to allow the system to transfer $62,000 in funds for the site and sewer work at the fieldhouse, he did not see it as a vote to fund the project he hoped his company would perform, but as a vote to allow the system to transfer funds from one line item to another.
He also questioned whether the attorney hired by County Mayor Alan Broyles to address the matter, Benjamin Lauderback, had maintained his promise to present an unbiased case.
"You said you weren't going to do any interpretation in some of this stuff. You interpreted that when you used me for an analogy, not being a commissioner any longer. You done some interpretation.
"Also, you were quick to point out that the minutes weren't taken very good," White added. "I think to be accepted, you need to accept. That's all I'm going to say about that."
White then looked to the timeline of the matter being raised.
"All of this stuff runs together, Mr. Mayor, but there was a lot of talk about this before [August] 20," White said.
He emphasized that he wished the mayor, the county attorney, or someone else would have said something sooner about a possible conflict-of-interest issue.
"I would have liked for somebody to have been looking out for me," he said.
Finally, White appealed to the committee's knowledge of his ethics and morals.
"The definition of ethics, it is a system of moral principles dealing with values relating to human conduct with respect to the rightness and the wrongness of certain actions, and to the goodness and badness of the motives -- of the motives -- and end to such actions," he said.
"Now, my question to you all is, you're fixing to vote to send me up or down the river or on to the next big meeting that we have ... Before you all make that decision, I'd just like to say that if you know me -- if you know Tim White -- I believe that you know somebody that ain't going to morally do something wrong."
"I'm a moral, upstanding citizen that wouldn't knowingly do anything wrong or break the law," White added.
"That's the decision that you all have to make as the Ethics Committee," White said. "Is this really an ethical issue? Have I done anything wrong, or am I just plain and simple ignorant?
"I have no intentions of doing anything ethically wrong, nor will I do anything ethically wrong, nor do I feel that I've done anything ethically wrong. Because my morals are just pretty good.
"Believe you me, I fail every day. But I have purposely done nothing to break any laws, any code of ethics, or anything else."