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Didn’t he promise not to create more division?

Well, that didn’t last long. On July 22, Fairmont City Council member Tom Hawkins made a statement to the community saying he would not advance any more issues that would cause division on the council. The main “issues” in question had been his efforts to oust the city attorney and city administrator. He succeeded in the first case, not the second.

Forcing out former City Attorney Elizabeth Bloomquist has not been enough for Hawkins and fellow council member Randy Lubenow. They have been unfairly attacking her since, questioning how she ran her office and made decisions about cases. All despite the fact that Bloomquist’s separation agreement with the city includes a clause that city officials do not disparage her. If she does not sue, we will be surprised.

In any case, Hawkins on Monday was again working diligently to build a molehill into a mountain, focusing on cases handled by Bloomquist that ran past their statute of limitations, and treating those involved as guilty as charged beyond reasonable doubt. What’s the deal with the cases? Perhaps he should ask Bloomquist. She could tell him that prosecutors have discretion over whether to charge someone, based on the merits of any given case. She also could say that it is wildly inappropriate to publicly discuss law enforcement data.

Hawkins took a different tack. An odd one. He asked city officials assembled at the council meeting — city clerk, police chief, finance director, city engineer, economic development coordinator and city administrator — about the expiring cases, what they knew about them and when. Hawkins believes it is “unreasonable” that other City Hall staff did not know about private data being considered in private by the city’s prosecutor.

In other words, Hawkins’ relentless and wrongheaded targeting of city staff knows no bounds. Nor does his self-important righteousness. Talk about “unreasonable.”

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