Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rep. Jacque Clements Falsely Accused By Clinton County Officials?

Rep. Jacque Clements (R-Frankfort) conducted a press conference with her attorney, Ed Hannon, yesterday in Frankfort to refute serious allegations Clinton County officials made against her in a civil lawsuit. Specifically, Clements denies she ever worked as an employee or consultant for Nikish, a software vendor with whom the Clinton Co. Auditor's office contracted to furnish property tax billing software. Clements insists the county received a $131,500 discount on the software it purchased from Nikish by becoming a beta site for the company's software, and that other county officials actively participated in the decision to award the company a contract. Clements acknowledges that she worked for Manatron as a project manager prior to becoming Clinton County Auditor; however, she resigned her full-time job with the company upon taking office. Manatron retained her as a part-time consultant for a brief period after she took office. She consulted with the Clinton Co. Prosecutor before agreeing to the part-time work based on an understanding she would not be making decisions concerning Manatron's contract with the county. Clements says she had not become familiar with Nikish's software until months after she stopped working for Manatron. The Frankfort Times quotes Clements from her press conference yesterday:

“I want everyone to know that the allegations made against me are untrue,” she said. “I should not have to prove them as untrue, but I can ... How they can make allegations against me, in light of what is clearly set out in the documents I am providing, is a mystery to me.”

Clements also shows pity for county taxpayers who “are funding this meritless lawsuit. It is something they should bear in mind when they next go to the polls.”

“It is a shame that Clinton County politics has reached this new low,” Clements said. “...This really is a sad state of affairs. I have devoted much of my adult life to public service. I work hard to honestly and fairly represent those persons who have placed their trust in me. I have done nothing to betray that trust.”

At least one county councilman, Steve Frey, stepped forward to defend Clements. He described the litigation against her as "wasting taxpayers' money." “It’s unfortunate Clinton County is going to suffer in hiring an old tax system — with Manatron,” Frey said of the county decision to remove Nikish software. Clinton Co. officials could be liable to Clements for making defamatory statements about her, but she says she's only interested in getting reimbursed for the attorney's fees and costs she is incurring in defending herself against "false allegations."

Clements distributed a 76-page detailed document at her press conference, which was prepared by her attorney, refuting each of the allegations the county made against her in a civil lawsuit.


varangianguard said...

A 76 page rebuttal?!?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Hamlet, Act Three, Scene Two.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I've seen the documents, varangianguard. The county really over-reached with its lawsuit in my opinion.

varangianguard said...

Then, tis pity's sake for the poor taxpayers of Clinton County (be the County self-insured).

Local government. And some people love it the way it is.