Picerno Responds to Critics: Calls Accusations 'Outright Lies'
Here is the complete text of Picerno's statement to the board. Click here to read the statement.
County Commissioner Nick Picerno fired back at his critics during the Monday night meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
Picerno read a statement into the official record at the end of the board meeting during the period set aside for commissioners’ comments.
It referred to what he termed “many statements, accusations and, in my opinion, outright lies” published in newspapers, blogs, comments by unidentified writers on websites and during public-comment periods at board meetings.
“Words, such as transparency, law, ethics, playing politics and, my personal favorite, ‘what if,’ have been thrown around and used to, in my opinion, further individuals’ own agendas,” Picerno said in a preface to his statement. “Families, companies and individuals have been vilified without any basis in fact.”
In his statement, Picerno sought to clarify his position on three issues recently discussed by the board: the public safety complex and jail expansion, Southern Software and the 2010-2011 budget.
His statement opened with negotiations by the commissioners in 2007 to buy property in downtown Carthage for government buildings. Picerno was not a member of the board at that time. He said the one commissioner who voted against the purchase objected to the price attached — $1.5 million — to the Grimm property, not to the location, a tract adjacent to the existing jail.
As for Southern Software, Picerno said he does not own stock in the company and is not employed there. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors as elected by its shareholders.
“I am not paid by Southern Software for being a director, nor do I share in its profits. Period,” he said.
The county contracts with Southern Software to provide software for the Sheriff’s Office and jail, as well as the billing system for the Public Works Department
Picerno made the motion to approve the 2010-11 budget and joined Commissioners Larry Caddell — who is CEO of Southern Software — and Jimmy Melton in voting in favor of the budget that is balanced, cuts spending and does not raise taxes.
There have been accusations of conflict of interest lodged against Picerno and Caddell because of their connection to Southern Software, something both adamantly deny. Both say they have done nothing illegal.
Picerno included copies of minutes of board meetings, memorandums from consultants, architects, and other professionals and other documentation supporting his comments.
Contact Florence Gilkeson by e-mail at email@example.com.
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