Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 26, 2013

May 26, 2013: Letters to the editor

‘Public servants’ need more than hand-slap

More people are getting the courage to expose the bad in this town and county. I hope the May 17 Kokomo Tribune article was read real careful, and people noticed who knew about what happened to Floyd Ogden.

It stated money was taken from Floyd — without him knowing it — by a city employee, and the people who knew about it never did anything to help Floyd get it back when he was supposed to.

Floyd worked for the city for more than 30 years, but the city didn’t help him when he needed it. That’s about as bad as the guy accused of stealing from him.

To say this employee needs to keep his job so he can pay Floyd back is hogwash. It’s not the taxpayers’ place to give a job to somebody the Indiana State Police detective requested criminal charges be filed against. Why would city leaders use their positions to take care of the accused but never bother to take care of the victim?

What if this city employee had taken almost $30,000 from the city account? Would a local attorney draw up a promissory note outlining payments back to the city beginning six months later? And when those payments were never made, would no legal action be taken to recover the funds?

Why are the rules different just because the victim is Floyd? He was taken advantage of and now the whole community should be making sure Floyd gets his money back in one lump sum right now, just like the signed legal agreement says.

Special investigations are happening a lot on people we pay salaries to, and these investigations cost us extra money. These people are “public servants.” They work for us, and some of them have cost us a whole lot more than the salaries we paid them.

The public hasn’t been served, and the victims of these “public servants” aren’t getting any justice. All of them who the state police and the State Board of Accounts and the special prosecutors have said did something wrong should have to pay their salaries back to us taxpayers. They all abused the power of their positions, and it’s time this town and county quit turning a blind eye to corruption and bad judgment. If all these people had been employed by a private business, they would have been fired a long time ago.

If this situation with Floyd had not been reported by a Good Samaritan and the Kokomo Tribune, things would have went on as they’d been going. We’ll keep living in a shameful community until we stop accepting a slap on the hand as the punishment of these “public servants.”

Ed Ripberger


Use your freedoms for benefit of others

My name is Mike Heronemus. Everyone has called me “Hero” since I was about 10 years old. Not because I did anything special, but simply an abbreviation of my last name. It was still a name I always felt proud to be called and ever strived to live up to.

I am proud to say my father is a disabled American veteran of the Vietnam War. He is my first true hero. Honoring our troops, veterans and fallen soldiers is always something he has instilled in our family. He still serves our fallen heroes, despite his health challenges in the cold damp weather by performing military rights.

So you might ask why these past 10 years I have felt increasing shame and disappointment? Not of my father or any of our heroes in the military, but of myself. It has taken me so long to take extreme actions to protect my fellow Americans.

These are citizens who have no voice and cannot protect themselves. How can I look myself in the mirror and call myself a man and not live my life as my father taught me by his actions? He swore an oath to protect the freedoms and liberties of the people of the United States of America from all threats, both foreign and domestic.

For more than 10 years, I have felt a spiritual calling and severe aching in my heart from the overwhelming problem of human trafficking here in America. Specifically child sex trafficking. A less PC, but more accurate description is pimping and raping children for money. Many are not able to escape and nearly all suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. This is the same affliction as heavy combat heroes of our military suffer.

There is no comprehending the horrors these children have to face, like the girls recently rescued in Cleveland after 10 years of slavery. We understand that POWs, as well as those who “gave all,” did so for a reason. They suffered and died for freedom. Our children are not soldiers. Parents of these innocent children should not have to wait by the phone, only to hear he or she was found in a Dumpster or the bottom of a river. For me, possibly worse than that would be never hearing that phone ring and dying of a lonely broken heart just like Amanda Berry’s mother.

You have the freedom today because of the sacrifices of our heroes of the military. Are you going to use that freedom to take actions to benefit others?

Mike Heronemus

Erie, Mich.