This is one of those way-out marginal stories that should apparently never be written about, but is heavily discussed among Wayne County officials and those in the ‘know’.
How does the Editor of the Times of Wayne County address allegations concerning Ken Miller, the Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors?
On several occasions people have reportedly encountered Ken in a “highly” intoxicated state after getting out of a County supplied vehicle. On the County level, the vehicle supplied to Miller has now been ‘officially’ taken away. The vehicle has been parked at the Wayne County Highway Department for the past six weeks. The matter has been handled internally, I guess.
The full Board of Supervisors know the details, but this is considered a ‘personnel matter” and thus not for public knowledge.
The problem is that I know, and it has put me in this odd spot as a journalist. I consider Ken a friend, but I never hesitated in reporting his Driving While Intoxicated arrest and conviction back in August 21, 2011, or any one else’s.
Miller was involved in a one vehicle accident, back then, just after 10 a.m. on the State Thruway. According to State Police, Miller, then age 54, of Maple Avenue in Palmyra, drove his pick up, towing a camper, off the roadway and struck two signs at the Clifton Springs service area of the Thruway. Miller was subsequently arrested for Driving While Intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .23%.
Hopefully Ken is seeking help and can move on, but the demons, the history behind what sets off an alcoholic, have obviously not been fully addressed. Yes, there were unconfirmed reports that Ken continued drinking on occasion, but nothing solid.
Several people have known about the continual problem of Miller driving under the influence, but brushed it off, or feared being the ‘one’ to blow the whistle. Police were not called, perhaps out of consideration for the legal consequences, or embarrassment, or brouhaha that would follow.
I am not one of those people.
I have discovered there have been at least two occasions recently where Miller has consumed alcohol and driven to either events or destinations, while using the County supplied vehicle. Other incidents apparently went unreported until the current shit hit the fan.
When Ken sought the position of Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, there were questions floating. Could he handle the pressure, would he slip back into his old ways? He guaranteed there would be no problem, but addiction does not work that way.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are no pending legal charges against Ken Miller, only the reports and knowledge of those involved. What would happen if Ken got behind the wheel of the car and caused another accident? What if someone was injured, or killed?
There was absolutely no question that County officials should have taken the County-supplied vehicle away from Board Chairman Ken Miller.
Ken undoubtedly acknowledges his continual problem and is hopefully seeking help. That is simply not enough. Ken Miller is an alcoholic and has a serious problem. Yes, it is embarrassing, but nowhere near the embarrassment or legal entanglements that the County and friends would endure if something happened while Ken was operating a County vehicle.
I am sorry, but knowing the extent of the current situation, Ken Miller should never, ever drive a County supplied vehicle.
The fact that I found out, and have chosen to write this editorial, is on me. I want Ken Miller and anyone with an addiction to live.
I wish nothing but the best for Ken and hope he finally pushes back and wins against the demon of this addiction. The idea that one drinks alcohol to abuse is a personal problem, unless you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, then it is all of ours.
I contacted Ken via his cell phone. He started off by saying everything was discussed in an executive session and that he “obviously could not trust” people in the executive session. I informed him I knew about the situation before the executive session. “It is all hearsay. If you want to write a story about hearsay that’s your business,” stated Miller.
Yes Mr. Miller, it is my business.