Since the East Texas oil boom in the 1930s, Kilgore has always been a brass-knuckle town, sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally. Last year, the Longview News-Journal reported accusations that Kilgore College administrators directed employees to illegally dispose of asbestos, and college trustee Brian Nutt was quoted as demanding an investigation. Less than 24 hours later, he had a bullet through his front door.
The Kilgore establishment – on and off campus – has never been receptive to criticism, and it doesn’t want reformers like Mr. Nutt asking too many questions or challenging the status quo. So I was not particularly surprised when the Kilgore News Herald reported last Wednesday, under the heading “KC attorney wards off watchdogs,” that college attorney Rick Faulkner had sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dean Kinney, Tommy Konczak, and Phil Patterson. Why? Because Mr. Kinney had dared to request a copy of a report about asbestos on the college campus.
This afternoon I sent a letter to Mr. Faulkner in response. As the letter indicates, Kilgore College is about to get sued. In fact, the college – and most of the trustees – will soon be facing multiple lawsuits from multiple plaintiffs, and those plaintiffs may include some former employees who were exposed to asbestos and now suffer from lung diseases.
In the coming months, I also plan to post evidence of serious financial mismanagement at both Kilgore College and the Kilgore Independent School District. Yes, I’m referring to the Kilgore Heights Elementary School property. Stay tuned.