My dad won. That is a huge victory. It is a completely good thing. It is also a huge sigh of relief to know that the media part of this is almost over.
I am sure there will be more after the hearing in February, but as far as the public battle, the worst is over. No more wondering what half truths will be published the next morning in the paper.
However how can I feel relieved? I certainly am not feeling the congratulations. I don't know what I expected,but it wasn't this. This feeling of disappointment. Of mistrust. Of heartache. I think while getting ready for the trial, I felt a sense of righting a wrong. Almost fighting for what was right. Now that it is over I realize that the wrong is still wrong. A trail, a judge and a jury can't make bad people good.
Mayor Greg Hines testified, under oath, that he didn't know or follow the ordinances in his own city. That he believed it was perfectly acceptable to ruin another persons name by releasing slanderous material to the media. Now obviously the judge and jury ruled that he ( Mayor Hines) was wrong in his actions, but his disregard for human kindness is baffling to me. I truly believed that people were genuinely good. That we were made to be uplifting to other people. It makes me so sad to learn how wrong I am about that. To some people, selfishness is much more important.
Just a tidbit that you may or may not know, because our local media only reports the side of the story they want to, Mayor Greg Hines, along with the city attorney Ben Lipscomb, went duck hunting together in January 2012. Now Mr. Lipscomb got a cash advance from the city of Rogers to attend a three day conference. During that three day conference he received a total of 2 hours of training credit ( 2 hours for 3 days). He returned from the conference and turned in zero receipts. He did however document his duck hunting success for those three days on his Facebook page. Now, being the treasure of the city and a morally driven person, my dad report his suspension of misuse of city funds. That report was made on April 26, 2012. My dad was fired May 14, 2012. I'll let you do the math on that one. These are all facts recorded during the trial by the way. I understand that I am putting this out on the internet where anyone can find it with a google search on names. I also would argue with you that even though the law states whistle blower only applies for significant sums of money, any misuse of city funds seems wrong to me. I don't know about you, but I would prefer to think city officials were being good stewards of my tax dollars down to the penny.
While I am throwing out names, let me throw out two more. Marge Wolf, who is currently running for state legislature, and Betsy Reithemeyer. Friends one day and stab you in the back the next. It shocks me and I would actually love for you to answer this one. I have always been taught to respect and look up to people older than me. Is that what friendship is all about at your age? I wonder if time will heal this for me? You have made me want to keep friends at arms length. How can I trust friends with the example you have provided?
I know that isn't what friendship is about. Thank goodness. If it were I would give up on people altogether. God showed me friendship are those people that sat day in and day out in the courtroom supporting us.Those that sat by us, held our hand, and hugged us when we need it. Those text messages and calls checking on us. That is friendship. I honestly could not have made it without them. Words cannot begin to describe how hard that all was. I thought I was going to have to choose between vomiting in my purse or in the floor multiple times. My body was in physical pain. Every nerve in my body was tensed to the max and I had to constantly move to hide the fact I was shaking nonstop. I kept thinking the judge was going to kick me out each time my tears started to fall. I can't even imagine how I would have done that by myself. For those that came to the courtroom and those that sent prayers because they couldn't be there in person; I will be forever grateful.
I know this post is all over the place. My random thoughts are hard to record. I am going to leave you with this. In part of my dad's testimony he testified that he was thankful he had a girl instead of a boy. A girl so that she didn't have his last name. A last name that for the last 18 months has been surround in negativity. I may be married. I may love having the last name Watson, but I always have and will be proud of the name Hudlow. I am Andrea Michelle Hudlow Watson. I have never been more proud of being Jerry Hudlow's daughter than I am now.
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