Commissioner Ron Lee didn’t hesitate to make threatening comments on video before a Warren County Commission meeting last week. Since that video has gone viral on the Internet, it has created concern Lee may have gone too far in making a point.
“I think he needs to step down from his position because we, the people, don't need any more negative spotlight on our community,” said Ryan Tackett, who wrote a letter to the editor in today’s edition.
The video shows Lee approaching Michael Shane Wilcher, who was elected to the Warren County Commission earlier this month. After the election, Wilcher sent a letter to all county commissioners voicing concerns he has with a particular judicial commissioner, who he believes should no longer work for the county.
Lee didn’t like being mailed the letter to his house and approached Wilcher last Monday before the commission meeting.
“If you ever send a piece of mail to my property again, I’ll whip your a**,” Lee was seen saying on video. “Do you understand me? Do you understand what I just said to you?”
Wilcher’s wife, Amy, can then be heard on video asking, “Did you just threaten him?”
Lee replied, “I’m not threatening him. I’m making a promise. You don’t send nothing suspicious to my house. Any business that goes through the county, goes through the county executive’s office. We’re going to get ours squared up right off the get-go. You have a good evening.”
When contacted by the Standard, Wilcher said he didn’t hesitate to post the video and emphasized Lee was aware he was being recorded.
“Why should I not show how a particular Warren County Commissioner acts when a citizen tries to communicate their concern about their county government?” said Wilcher. “I sure don't want another citizen threatened for expressing their concerns, nor their wife promised that such threats will be followed through on. The elected officials of this county work for the people and should be happy to make themselves available instead of attempting to bully or intimidate a citizen into silence. Mr. Lee walked up to what was clearly a rolling camera in my hand and began his threat and promise in front of my camera out loud, in public, and in a room full of people. Some of those people were literally inches from him. He chose his audience. He still owes the county an apology and my wife an apology for disrespecting and promising her directly that he would follow through on his threat of physical violence on a citizen and/or other elected official.”
As a newly elected county official, Wilcher takes office Sept. 1. He will represent the 3rd District.
Lee was reelected without opposition in the 1st District.