On May 23, 2014, the Daily Times’ above the fold, front page article by Brian Shane featured a story about Wicomico County spending. In this article, it was revealed that County Executive Rick Politt not only had a habit of dining out on the taxpayers dime while supposedly working, but that he bought family groceries at Wal-Mart with the County credit card because, by his own admission, his personal card would not work. He also “mistakenly” used the County credit card at Food Lion and at the Cleveland Park Bar. He did not give reasons for the other usage. Were these honest mistakes as some would say, or was it mistakes Pollitt knew he was making?
Now here’s where it gets interesting. This past week the Daily Times reported about a Salisbury volunteer firefighter who said his wife used a Fire Department credit card by mistake and now he is being prosecuted for it. Is this an unfair situation? Are there different rules in place for different people? Should not Pollitt be prosecuted since he admits he broke the same law the firefighter is being charged with breaking? A little hypocrisy here? Or, just different rules for different folk?
By Mr. Shane’s own admission, The Daily Times went to great lengths to acquire the information on Mr. Pollitt’s “mistake.” The Daily Times only got the information after filing a “Freedom of Information Act” request to obtain info on Mr. Pollitt’s spending habits. Yet the Daily Times, in last week’s editorial, endorsed Mr. Pollitt for County Executive. Does this mean the Daily Times now condones Mr. Pollitt’s spending habits and the County Executive’s lack of cooperation in obtaining such information? Does the Daily Times’ parent company, Gannett operate in the same fashion? Does Ms. Parker and her Editorial Review Board condone the action of misusing County credit cards for one person and condemn it for another? Is this fair or is the Daily Times’ liberal bias so strong that they “overlook” these “little mistakes” for one guilty party so that they may endorse the most liberal candidate?
Granted, misusing the County credit card may not rank as “high crime.” But this certainly feels like a blatant lack of respect for our taxpayers and shows a sense of entitlement by our County Executive.
Would the Daily Times like to explain why one person gets prosecuted for credit card misuse and the other gets endorsed for the highest County position?