Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bibb Commissioner Joe Allen Responds to Criticism

In my email bag, there is an interesting letter from Bibb Commissioner Joe Allen responding to criticism for accompanying a personal friend of his, Richard Orr, as he was sentenced in federal court on drug charges. I personally don't have an issue with Allen accompanying his friend to his sentencing. While I do not approve of Orr's activities, he was pleading guilty to his crime and accepting his sentence. As far as Allen is concerned, sometimes being a human being is more important than being a politician.

To: The Citizens of Bibb County
And surrounding Counties
From: Bibb Co.Commissioner Joe Allen
4980 Dixon Road
Lizella, Ga. 31052
Date: March 18, 2007
“ The Mile “
Lat week “Rick Knight” was sentenced for his part in illegal drug activity at his home in S. Bibb County. As his friend for many years in Public Service, I appeared at the Federal Courthouse in Macon, along with others, to give him much needed support. For my action, I have been very unduly criticized, via e-mails, phone calls and letters. Some of which stated, I should not have appeared in Public to give support for anyone involved in Criminal Activity. Under “The Constitutional Right of Freedom of Speech”, all of you are allowed this privilege, as well as I. You voiced your opinion and I voiced mine. Many of the negative comments made to me, could have hurt my feelings, but they did not. However, my feelings are crushed and hurt by those that do not realize, “Addiction” is a disease, and these people need all of our help, and not our criticism .I do not condone any illegal actions by any unfortunate Addict, but I do sympathize, and have a great deal of empathy for him, and his Family, as I have “Walked that long mile”, over and over again, when Drug Addiction destroyed my own Family in 1988, and eventually ended, in the unfortunate demise of my ex wife, my Children’s Mother.

My response to the statement that I should be removed from Public Office is
“No” !! I certainly should not. Should I be criticized for trying to help a man, who has realized his mistakes, and trying to straighten out his life, my answer is “No” I should not. Should I continue to pray and offer my support to this man, “Yes” I should ! Should I hope and pray you feel the same way I do, “Yes”,I should. Should you join me and others, begging the Govt. to increase and restore the funding for Addiction Treatment, “Yes” you should ! Should you agree practically every family in Georgia, in some way, has been adversely affected by Alcohol and Drugs, legally prescribed or illegally obtained, in some way. “Yes”, you should. Should you continue to voice your opinions as you see fit, “Yes”, you should. Should you rethink your “Critical comments”, “Yes”, you should. Should we all hope and pray this man, continues to receive help while he ‘pays for his crime”, and tries diligently to start his life over,” ‘Yes” we should. The “Miles of Addiction” are on an endless road of self destruction that leads to nowhere”. We could all at sometime be in the same sinking boat. I do hope to continue to support any citizen in need of help and hope you will find it in your heart to help too.

Joe Allen

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