Saturday, June 14, 2008

Setting the record straight on John Vest

An anonymous, middle-of-the-night commenter on another post continued the same line of attack used by Fayette County Detention Center Director Ron Bishop and former Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac against federal whistleblower John Vest. Here is the comment:

The day of the FBI raid on the Lexington jail, Isaac and Bishop both went on the attack against Vest. Their main contention was that Vest made up the charges of abuse on inmates to promote himself in his campaign for Jessamine County Jailer.

Given the five indictments Thursday, we can safely set that allegation aside. The FBI isn't in the habit of letting itself be used to further a local candidate's political ambitions and only the hardest head could still insist such a thing in light of the rapidly advancing legal proceedings.

The anonymous commenter mentioned Vest's one public statement since this whole ordeal started and blames that for his current unpaid leave status with the city of Lexington. What the commenter doesn't mention is that the inmate beatings stopped immediately after the FBI raid and resumed literally within an hour after Mayor Isaac stated publicly that she had viewed the evidence and saw nothing wrong. Some people, such as this anonymous commenter, don't want you to have any idea the pervasiveness of the illegal activities and atmosphere of indimidation going on in the jail.

The truth is federal authorities wrote Vest's statement and I helped him organize a press conference after Isaac's ludicrous assessment. That is when it became clear that the cover-up went all the way to the Mayor's office and that he had to get out fast. The continuing effort to smear John Vest is not surprising, though. That kind of behavior is par for the course from desperate criminals who are used to hiding behind offices and titles and getting a pass for their activities.