An emotional statement from judge-executive Charles Hardin, MD proved to be the poignant portion of an otherwise routine Magoffin County Fiscal Court meeting Friday morning.
Judge-executive Hardin closed the meeting with his personal message, but first the county had some business to conduct, which included a $90,895 partial payment for the McNew Bridge, which is currently under construction at Lakeville.
The court approved a $1,600 fund release requested by Cumberland Valley, $4,100 payment to Big Sandy Area Development District, and a payment to Standafer Builders in the sum of $217,745.13.
Both payments were for work done on the new health department, which is on schedule and should be completed the first week of December.
A clerk’s purchase of five voting machines, to be paid with federal funds, was approved along with $200,000 for the library, which also included compliments from Hardin to library board members and Senator Robert Stivers.
Randall Hardin and Melodine McCarty were re-appointed to the water board and a resolution proclaiming September as alcohol and drug abuse recovery month was approved and signed.
In other business, the court designated land near the horse park for an official county cemetery. Stipulations regarding the cemetery included the right for a living spouse to reserve the adjacent plot of a deceased spouse.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Hardin addressed the crowd regarding his son and former deputy judge-executive Walter “Wally” Hardin.
“I would like to address the situation concerning my son, Walter,” Hardin started the statement by saying.
“First, I accept full responsibility for hiring Walter as my deputy judge. While it is true, affection may have clouded my judgement, I remain eternally optimistic about the good and potential of people. It is simply my nature to see the best in people.
“I want to apologize to my friends who wrote letters of leniency for any grief they may have experienced. Facts evolved rapidly late in the case and may not have been fully known to them. I will, however, be forever grateful for their efforts on my behalf.
“I appreciate their courage and conviction that the judge should understand the totality of Walter. None asked that Wally not receive punishment. They felt as I do that none of us is as bad as the worst thing we have done, or for that matter, as good as the best thing we have ever done.
“Finally, I would like to thank our friends for their support. Without your prayers, the support of my family – especially my wife – and the comfort of the Good Lord I do not believe I could not have endured this awful agony.
“In Ecclesiates it tells us that there is a season for everything under the sun…a time to weep and a time to heal. For my family and me it is now time for us to heal. I humbly ask that you allow us to heal in private.
“Continue to pray for us.”