Commissioner Walker files complaint against man denied placement on board

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Feb. 7 argument between Commissioner Cindy Walker and recreation board candidate David Moore has resulted in Walker filing a complaint against Moore with the Polk County Magistrates Office.
The argument between the two occurred after commission chair Ray Gasperson, vice-chair Renée McDermott and commissioner Walker voted not to appoint Moore to the recreation advisory board.
Commissioners Ted Owens and Tom Pack voted to place Moore on the board.
Walker said following the decision, Moore approached her saying she was nothing but political trash and twice motioned as if to strike her.
“On Monday February 7th, 2011, after the Polk County Board of Commissioners meeting, David Moore approached me in the courtroom of the Womack Building, saying, ‘You’re nothing but political trash,’” Walker said.  “With elbow bent, forearm and back of hand at chest level, twice he motioned as if to strike in a back hand manner while saying, ‘You ought to be smacked.’  Both times I asked him if he was going to hit me, then I called for the county manager to intervene.”
Walker filed a complaint with a magistrate, but did not seek charges and Moore was not charged with an offense.
Moore denies the claims and said he was talking with his hands and motioned with his hand for her to stop, telling Walker that he had no use for her.
Moore says he never said that Walker ought to be smacked. He admits that following the vote during the meeting he said the words, “political trash,” from the back of the room and that he said, “I’ve had enough of your political trash,” to Walker.
Moore said when the meeting was adjourned he walked up to speak to commissioner Owens and saw Walker leaving the room. Moore said he told Walker leaving without facing the people was cowardly. Moore said the only time he said the word, “slap,” was when Walker asked him if he were threatening to slap her and he responded that he would not slap her.
“I’ve got more respect for people than that,” Moore said.
Moore says he was probably 3 to 5 feet away from Walker and never approached her.
“I was talking with my hands,” Moore said. “What I did with my hand was like a stop-sign.”
In an audiotape that continued to record after the meeting adjorned, Moore could be heard saying “political trash” following the commissions’ vote on the board appointment. The audiotape also picked up some of Walker and Moore’s conversation, including hearing Walker asking Moore if he was going to slap her.
The phrase Walker alleges that Moore said about slapping her could not be distinguished on the tape by Bulletin staff.
Both the Polk County Democratic Executive Committee and the Polk County Republican Executive Committee issued statements regarding the event.
The Democratic Executive Committee issued the following statement, which the Bulletin staff has edited for brevity and clarity:
“An article appeared in the Tryon Daily Bulletin on Friday, February 11, concerning ‘sparring’ at the last Board of Commissioners meeting. The article did not include some very important facts and context that the Polk County Democratic Party Executive Committee officers feel must be provided to Polk County citizens.
David Moore’s abusive behavior toward Commissioner Cindy Walker has been going on for the better part of a year, repeatedly. Up until the February 7 Commissioners meeting, it had been verbal only, in the form of derogatory and insulting language, made quite publicly, and for which we have many witnesses who have described it to us in detail.
We find the votes to be wholly nonpolitical, entirely justified, in fact a matter of self-defense. Commissioner Walker serves on the Recreation Board, and her safety in the presence of Mr. Moore can no longer be assured. The Board of Commissioners has a responsibility to provide for public safety, and we call on Commissioners Pack and Owens to denounce Mr. Moore’s deplorable behavior that endangered their colleague.
Neither Commissioner Walker nor her two Democratic colleagues on the Board, nor any member of the Executive Committee is aware of anything Commissioner Walker has done to provoke Mr. Moore.  On the contrary, her calmness and restraint in facing this abuse has been remarkable.
As to Mr. Moore, we say: your repeated hostility to our colleague and friend has crossed far beyond the line of political opposition and into technical assault. This is a serious issue and the fact that you have yet to issue any apology to her or show any remorse or regret speaks volumes.
Commissioners Gasperson, McDermott and Walker got it exactly right with their “no” vote. We commend their action.”
The Democratic Executive Committee officers include Blake Arledge, Frances Parker, Chris Price, Jack Shumway and Laura Peek.
The Republican Executive Committee issued the following statement, which the Bulletin staff has edited for brevity and clarity:
“When Cindy Walker spoke at the swearing-in ceremony of the Polk County Board of Commissioners, she said words to the effect that politics was a nasty business.  That has certainly proven to be true.
The rudeness with which the two Republican Commissioners have been treated is unconscionable.  It appears that it is a concerted effort between the three Democrat Commissioners to demean the two Republicans.  Their malice has spilled over to other Republicans who have stepped forward to volunteer for County boards.
The case in point is David Moore who volunteered for the Polk County Recreation Advisory Board.  Denying his application was clearly political as he is uniquely qualified for the position.  It wasn’t enough that they denied his application, but they have continued to publicly vilify him. After the Commissioner’s meeting, there were words of displeasure expressed between David Moore and Cindy Walker…She is now claiming that David “threatened to hit her.” Anyone who knows David knows that he would never stoop to such a thing.
The Polk County Republican Party would very much like to encourage the citizens of Polk County to attend the Commissioners’ meetings.  They would like for the citizens to witness for themselves the animosity perpetrated upon the minority Commissioners.  We need to demand that they work together with respect for the good of the County rather than to further a political agenda.”
The Republican Executive Committee officers include Gage, Mark Garrell, Nick Koluch, John Dahlgren, Owens and Pack
The Polk County Board of Commissioners met yesterday and was scheduled to have two Polk County Sheriff’s Officers at the meeting. The agenda included an item titled, “BOC meeting security.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox