Treasurer confronts activist over Chinese film crew visit
BY STACI WILSON
County Treasurer Catherine Benedict confronted local, anti-gas advocate Vera Scroggins during the public comment portion of the April 27 county commissioners meeting.
Scroggins was in attendance at the meeting.
Benedict questioned Scroggins regarding a film crew she brought into the county courthouse on Friday, April 19.
Scroggins said she was accompanied by a journalist from China TV and they were looking at the economic impacts of natural gas development.
Benedict said, “You brought foreign nationals to the courthouse and dumped them off in (the treasurer’s/tax claim) office?”
She said that Scroggins had brought the crew there and then left the building. Benedict said she was not present in her office at that time but her staff had reported that they were uncomfortable with the situation.
“You are either the most naïve or the most stupid person in the world,” Benedict admonished Scroggins.
County Commissioner Alan Hall called for order to be restored to the meeting at which time Treasurer Benedict left the room.
Audience member Edna Paskoff called the elected official’s outburst, “shameful.”
“A public official should never say a member of the public is stupid,” Paskoff said. “It’s wrong, crass and should never happen.”