THE BATHON VORTEX: For decades Madison County has been a tranquil lake with public servants lakeside, enjoying the good life. Jobs were plentiful, salaries were high and patronage and nepotism were the norm.
Then a tiny fissure appeared in 2009 when County Treasurer Fred Bathon retired to his $88,000 a year pension. Recently with Bathon's guilty plea, the lake sprung a leak. The hole became known as the Bathon vortex. No one, it seems, had any knowledge about the crime or the whirlpool. So they began swimming casually away from the perilous eddy, seeking safety in their purity and virtue and total lack of knowledge or responsibility.
The Bathon vortex grew, reaching many people unable to swim fast enough to escape the rushing waters. But swim they must. This vortex is not only about its namesake.
It is not possible that Bathon worked his scheme for four or five years unnoticed. Yet not a single person ever objected or commented in any way. On the date of Bathon's guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton stated that "today's charge is a charge of conspiracy. By its very nature, conspiracy involves more than one person." Thus others involved with or aware of what Bathon was doing while in office are anxiously waiting for the next shoe to fall.
One shoe that they are not anticipating is the concerted action of thousands of outraged Madison County residents. The public must be informed. Corruption of this magnitude cannot and will not be allowed to go unchallenged.