Epperson Spouts Off; Column Corrected

Shreveport Attorney John Settle
by John Settle

Mark Twain (or somebody) once said – “if you write enough columns, and you will eventually make a mistake”; and after nine years of so doing, I have made one. Probably more than that, but rarely have I ever been called a “liar” by any reader much less an elected public official. But maybe readers should consider the source – Caddo Commissioner Ken Epperson.

Not a lie?
Not a lie?

A July 28 article “Lynch and Baker Outspend rest of Caddo Commissioners” correctly reported that Commissioner Ken Epperson had expensed over $21,000 for trips/conventions/travel with tax payer dollars since January 1, 2011. Epperson was third on the list of public trough gorging, trailing Stephanie Lynch ($33,397) and Lindora Baker ($31,954). My column incorrectly stated that Epperson attended Washington Mardi Gras in 2011 and 2013.

Mr. Epperson sent yours truly the following email Tuesday, July 2:

You are lying when you printed: “Epperson attended the 2011 & 2013 Washington Mardi Gras!” That is a flat out Lie. I have never attended the Washington DC Mardi Gras since I have been on the Caddo Parish Commission! You are lock step with your Republican comrades, you have no respect for the truth or facts!!!
P.S. (I didn’t buy a copy, I heard it through the Grapevine) Kenneth R. Epperson, Sr. Caddo Parish Commissioner- District 12 318-773-2654

www.TheInquisitor.com for actual story

Upon receipt of this delightful email, I reviewed documents produced from a public records request and realized I was incorrect – I promptly advised Mr. Epperson accordingly. I apologize to him and my readers for this mistake (as they say, stuff happens).

What Epperson failed to mention is that he has traveled to D.C. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 for a week each year at taxpayer expense. He racked up almost $10,000 in expenses to attend conferences. Mardi Gras goers spent less time and public money than Epperson, who obviously prefers March over February in our nation’s capital.

ethics-sign postsEpperson’s email noted that he had heard of my mistake “through the grapevine”. I do not know which “grapevine” he listens to (or perhaps swings from), and thus I hope he hears or reads of this column. To make certain, I will mail him a copy of it, along with last week’s; for good measure I will send to all the Caddo Commissioners.