The Jefferson County Board of Health held an emergency meeting on 3/29/2012 to address the escalating uproar over their handling of the tornado victims by their infamous administrator, Ralph Armand. Mr. Armand greeted citizens at the door and ushered his victims to the reserved front row like they were royalty. The overflowing room was well represented by angered citizens and the media.
Dr. Patrick Leahey, the Board Chairman, started with introductions, trying to express empathy to the victims. He promised to keep the meeting short, as several doctors had to return to their practice. Never mind the fact that most people in the audience had also left work to attend the meeting inconveniently scheduled during the middle of the day.
Board member Dr. Ralph Pratt echoed the same sentiment and then said he wanted to clarify a story reported in the Madison Courier that the Board and Commissioners were at odds. He explained that nothing could be further from the truth.
Dr. Leahey then directed attention to the 3-victims in the front row and asked them to share their concerns, starting with their name and address. There were several uncomfortable moments of silence. It was painfully obvious to everyone in the room except the board that these poor victims had not only lost their homes and beloved family members, but they were now being further traumatized by the sudden media attention, while having to directly face their abuser, Ralph Armand. The same man that had already denied their permits to rebuild their homes using the same grandfathered septic system that functioned just fine prior to the tornado.
It is important to note that not a single victim had a faulty system, as defined by the State Code that resulted in contamination of a public waterway and if the home has the same number of bedrooms as before the storm, a permit is NOT required, contrary to Armand’s faulty opinion.
One-by-one, the audience offered similar stories that established a pattern of long standing harassment, intimidation, price fixing, and self-serving control by the administrator. Finally, the tornado victims found their voice and of course, Armand denied their claims and implied they were all mistaken. He relayed his own version of the truth until Commissioner Tom Pietrykowsi stood his ground and countered Armand’s statements about what had transpired during site evaluations with the State. This exposed Armand in another lie and the Health Board in the embossing position countering Dr. Pratt’s prior assertions that things were just fine between the board and commissioners.
Health Dept. Officer, Dr. John Hossler jumped in to defend Armand in a feeble attempt to gain decorum, by concentrating on the issues of compaction and how it somehow related to the victims, but he was unable to establish if the sites were actually tested and confirmed to actually be compacted.
As always, Mr. Armand misrepresented statements of fact. Because he rarely documents anything in writing (in violation of the State Rules and County Ordinance he uses against others.) It is and always has been Armand’s word against everyone else. The clueless board at the direction of their Officer, Dr. Hossler, has blindly trusted the word of this perjurer and enabled this man to abuse the system and the citizens of Jefferson County for far too long.