Lt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski sheriff's office said investigators have located Ricky Weathers, whose name appeared on a letter to the Pulaski County School Board that was released by Board member Charlie Wood. Weathers said he didn't write the letter and knows nothing about its allegations of misconduct by School Board member Gwen Williams. Weathers also told investigators he didn't know the man seen chatting with Williams on her porch nor did he recognize the truck in the video.
In other words, Charlie Wood — a committed enemy of Williams and facing a tough re-election battle — managed to leverage an apparently dishonest letter and some ambiguous video into front-page suggestions of bribery in a sidewalk contract (no such work has been done) against a School board foe. The proper course would have been for the material to be turned over to authorities, quietly.
The sheriff's office would still like to find the man in the video. Know him? Give us a call. We'd like to ask him a few questions, too, including whether he knows Charlie Wood.
UPDATE: While Charlie Wood acknowledges he supplied this material to the Democrat-Gazette, he said it was in the hands of many others, including other news media and law enforcement officials, before he gave it to the Democrat-Gazette. He said he first saw it late Sunday night after returning from a weekend bicycle race. He doesn't know the man named in the letter or the man seen in the video. He said that he was anxious to see the matter thoroughly investigated and thought sometimes newspapers got to the root of issues quicker than the justice system. But he said he had no political intent.