The Grayson County Fiscal Court came under fire on Friday morning at their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting when a small group of local residents presented allegations that the County Jailer, Darwin Dennison, does not meet one of the requirements for elected county officials.
Namely, the group said that Dennison, who owns two properties in Grayson County and one in Edmonson County, does not live in the county in which he was elected.
The group passed out copies of Section 234 of the Kentucky Constitution, which states, “All civil officers for the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district, county, city of town officers shall reside within their respective districts, counties, cities or towns, and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law.”
Dennison declined to comment to the group further than simply stating that he resides at his address on Sinks Road in Grayson County.
“You don’t live on Sinks Road,” countered Glefus Stevenson, who asserted that he and the group which he represented, along with Marshall Moutardier and Bill Sells, have hard evidence that Dennison instead lives at the home he owns in Edmonson County.
“We are asking him to resign,” Moutardier said flatly to the court, while Stevenson explained that if Dennison does not step down and/or the Fiscal Court does not oust him from the position of jailer, they will proceed with legal action against the court.
“It’s been up in the air for a while and we need to get it ironed out,” said Moutardier, who asserts that Dennison moved out of his Sinks Road home eleven months ago.
Stevenson told reporters that he, along with Moutardier and Sells, represent a large group of people who have already consulted with an attorney and are ready to move forward with the matter.
Stevenson said that the group “could have filled this courtroom up a few times,” but that some of the members were afraid to come forth with accusations, and they did not want to come across as a bunch of “vigilantes.”
“We just want it out in the open,” Moutardier said, “It’s just been up in the air for a while and we need to get it ironed out.”
The court agreed that if any official was found to be unqualified for their position, they would move forward with the proper actions, and referred the group to County Attorney Clay Ratley to look further into the matter.
Ratley made it clear that he was the legal representation for the Fiscal court, and answered the question of whether an elected official was required to live in their county or district by saying, “it’s clear that there’s a residency requirement.”
Ratley declined to continue further discussion during the meeting, but asked that the representatives of the group schedule a time to go over the matter with him during office hours.
Dennison was reached for comment after the meeting, and said of the accusation, “It kind of surprised me.”
“I’ve got a home in Brownsville, and I guess that’s what they’re talking about.”
Dennison said that his family stays at his Brownsville home on weekends and that they attend a church there, but he resides during the week at his Short Creek address on Sinks Road.