By Editor Edison- CalPatty Press Editor for Revenge of the Ghost Wolf
We are less than two weeks into 2016 and several Cottrill Estate Issues are on the Circuit Court Docket this year. Monday January 11th Michael Murphy the executor of the Cottrill Estate had a status hearing on his appeal of the rejected final settlement involving the Cottrill Estate. The Docket number is 15C-33. There is also another docket number still on the books for Mike Murphy which is 15C-20, in which Judge Alsop took action by writing a letter to the County Commission requesting that they finish up the final accounting after five years of languishing in the courts.
In a recent GFP article, it was mentioned that Larry Chapman got Linda Huff to serve as fiduciary commissioner, so that was a very positive action, which resulted in a job well done. But, also, it is important to mention that as reported previously, Brian Kennedy really came through by doing his home work, and for being familiar with the facts of the accounting, and seemed to be the only commissioner to actually read the well written Linda Huff report on the matter, which left issues very clear and solvable. It has taken FIVE LONG YEARS to make this much progress, but for the progress we should be glad that some very important and pertinent facts came to the surface and are no longer in question.
Dave Ramezan(above depicted in cartoon)of the Gilmer Free Press is ONCE AGAIN under attack by the POWERS that BE from Glenville, WV thinking that DAVE is the one that runs REVENGE of the GHOST WOLF when everybody knows MUSIC gets you HIGH and the President of the Council of Concerned Citizens for Central West Virginia is solely responsible for that website …AND So it GOES!
Nobody said, the self appointed POWERS THAT BE couldn’t sometimes be CLUELESS IDIOTS, so there, I said it!!
I paid the Circuit Court Clerk Karen Elkin the required fee for the documents needed to report this matter and was shocked by the accounting Mike Murphy presented. I was more concerned because what has been COMPLETELY IGNORED during this whole accounting debacle is that the Cottrill Estate has an unsolved still under investigation WRONGFUL DEATH of WILLARD COTTRILL case ongoing, in which NOTHING has been done, and NO PROGRESS has been made, and there seems to be NO INTEREST in bringing the wrongdoers to justice. This matter of the STILL – UNDER INVESTIGATION – BUT DOING NO INVESTIGATING is exactly what we need to be thinking about here in Gilmer County during the 2016 election. We need someone that can do the simple job of conducting an investigation, not make excuses that are never ending.
NOBODY in law enforcement and not even the prosecutor had even mentioned the fact that the person that allegedly administered the deadly dose of Morphine is also married to the executor of the estate! Now I ask you, don’t you think that SITUATION brings a big ole RED FLAG? But, in Gilmer County, this type of thing seems to be OK, as long as you are the type that might like to spread a little money around to the right people and then the GOOD OLE BOYS are in control and the local print media will report what they are paid to report and there will be NO INVESTIGATION and SOON PEOPLE WILL JUST FORGET …and that my friends is HOW THEY DO IT DOWN IN GILMER COUNTY.
Gilmer County is the poor sparsely populated county where public officials are quick to say, “Well I wasn’t there then….” when something goes wrong. Boy oh boy if I only had a dollar a holler for every time I heard that one. Here is a clue for ya all from someone with years and years and years of experience of hearing this statement. Usually, when you hear that statement from someone, you can BET that, the person in question most certainly was there then, and most likely guilty as sin of even your worst fears pertaining to that particular situation.
These are important things to consider while you are in Gilmer County, because for years now Gilmer County is known for making up its own rules.
All of these non-rule rules have been applied when the Cottrill Estate is considered.
After looking hard at all of these facts and studying the accounting, just days ago, I called the Cottrill Estate Executor Mike Murphy to ask him some questions about why he is making his appeal, and his answer was that he was trying to pursue getting the estate closed.
I asked him did he have a comment pertaining to the fact the final accounting was disapproved. And disapproved was the exact word I used in my query of Murphy. Mike Murphy said that the Cottrill Estate Accounting WAS approved, and that I should confirm that with Jean Butcher the Gilmer County Commission Clerk. Mike Murphy informed me that Jean Butcher had issued some order, and that the accounting had been approved.
I informed Mike Murphy that I was the reporter that had written all the Cottrill Estate articles in the GFP going back four years, and further, that when anyone wanted facts about that case, usually they asked me about it. I then asked him if he had read Linda Huffs report to the commission, and he never really answered that question, but he did structure a rather long, meaningless retort using rhetoric that made absolutely no sense. I had to laugh a little at his answer for it seemed he was still sticking to his story that nothing was wrong and that it had always been in the plans that the accounting would be approved, and in his opinion it was approved, and that it was a matter of natural, normal procedure, and that if I were to call Jean Butcher at the courthouse, and I would find that all to be true just like he said.
My interview with Mike Murphy soon ended because he was answering my questions by talking in circles using a bunch of useless words that meant nothing, which I found quite frustrating.
Soon, I had Jean Butcher on the phone. Jean Butcher flatly denied ALL statements made by Mike Murphy and reported to me, the answer I knew to be true, for I watched the video of the Gilmer County Commission meeting where the final settlement was rejected due to discrepancies of a major concern pointed out by the special fiduciary commissioner Linda Huff.
I then called Karen Elkin Gilmer County Circuit Clerk to get a copy of 15C-33 and in Mike Murphy’s own words he states the reason for his appeal to the commission was due to the “REJECTED SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE,” and those were in his own words. Therefore, Murphy knew he was being untruthful.
I called Mike Murphy back at his home in New York to inform him that I did as he requested that I called the County Commission Clerk, and I left a message on his machine that she DENIED his statement, adding, “She flatly denied all you said about the final accounting being approved!” However, I certainly knew at the time Murphy was making that false statement that it was indeed false, and sadly had made me doubt the man’s integrity, and ability to serve as an executor of ANY estate.
Another MAJOR ISSUE involving the Cottrill estate is the matters of what many people say was a land fraud scheme that got a former Lewis County resident, Richard Neal a pretty good deal on about 40 acres of property. He paid around 25 thousand in cash and tossed in an orange 1968 Camaro.
These issues involve the oldest daughter of Willard Cottrill, Marlea Cottrill who got the commissions attention when she pleaded her case before them as far back as November of 2013.
A March 2016 Circuit Court matter is on the docket. Neal sued Cottrill trying to force her to sign over her share of the property, but she refuses to do so and has every right to refuse to do so. Neal sued Marlea Cottrill, and then asks the court to order her not to bring any actions against him, which led to Cottrill filing a counter claim. So come spring time the dispute of rightful ownership will be before the circuit court and so far Cottrill has not been paid for her share of the property Neal believes he purchased. Without proper consideration there can be NO SALE according to Linda Huff the fiduciary commissioner. That matter is the main concern of the final settlement being approved , so therefore marries those two circuit court cases together.
2016 is an election year in West Virginia, and rumors have been flying about Mickey Metz once again running for Sheriff. Mickey Metz was first to deal with the Cottrill estate wrongful death complaint and NO PROGESS has been made, since he first got the case. An FOIA was served on the Sheriff’s office a while back and Sheriffs Gerwig answer to the FOIA was the wrongful death was still under investigation, therefore no information could be released, but before he made that statement, when first contacted, Gerwig stated, “He wasn’t there then, when the wrongful death took place.” Actually, Gerwig was the CHIEF DEPUTY, second in command and was MOST CERTAINLY there then, so that answer considering the FOIA request was WEAK and very typically Gilmer County. SHERIFF GERWIG used that same excuse when over 300,000 dollars of County tax collections was discovered left over from the Metz regime that was not distributed to the people that needed it, like the Ambulance service, and the schools, and the senior programs etc.
I have heard it said, that the difference between GOOD and EVIL runs right down the Gilmer County line, and I believe that is often the case. Richard Neal was served with a protection order for his harassment of Ruth Mitchell who is allowed to live on the Cottrill Estate for the rest of her life by a Supreme Court ruling. This matter was decided in the magistrate court of Alton Skinner, as reported in a prior article, but when my associate Lawrence Smith formerly of the WV record and several other WV newspapers inquired about documents pertaining to the order against Neal, and his alleged application for a false and ridiculous order against Mitchell, Smith was told by a secretary that no paper work existed when both Smith and myself knew this answer was false.
I decided at that point to call Linda James the magistrate clerk to make arrangements to obtain those documents, someone else answered her regular line, and when I identified myself by name I was immediately hung up on. I called back and the phone rang and rang and rang with no answer for the rest of that day. Within minutes of this incident I was on the phone to the Supreme Court. I will be filing a formal complaint about the actions of the magistrate’s office in regard to request by the press for court documents. The Supreme Court is supporting my complaint and I was assured they will get to the bottom of this unfortunate occurrence, and there may be consequences for the bad behavior.
The courts are suppose to make fair and equitable judgments and honor the 4th estate, but that IS NOT always the way it goes in Gilmer County. The 4th estate is represented by the news media commonly known as the “Press,” and the press should have access to public trials allowing for freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but those still seem to be fighting words in Central West Virginia. Freedom of the press, is a THREAT in Glenville, West Virginia, and we are working hard to try to bring this area out of the dark ages, and more in sync with the rest of the world, but in Crooked County down by the Crooked River, for the foreseeable future the powers that be will always try to suppress the important issues, and SO IT GOES.
Well, there’s one thing to try
Music gets you high
Everybody grows and so it goes
You’re the lips that make the laughter
You’re the sunshine in the snow
Shining out on everything you feel
You’re the bird that stole my cherry
On the island far below
Finding out that everything is real
Well, there’s one thing to try down by the Crooked County line
Although JUSTICE may be a lie, everybody knows,
Gilmer County is corrupt as hell
Music gets you high while those Crooked County Crooks will make sure you die
Everybody knows and so it goes