For days, County Manager Nathan Bennett has known this newspaper wanted access to some specific public documents that he said are filed in his office.
On Thursday he provided them, but only after the newspaper said it might sue him.
The information I wanted was a list of the firearms listed on the Yancey County Sheriff’s Department inventory, including serial numbers.
Why did I want that information? Well, if you read our front page story
, you know that guns which you - the taxpayer - bought appear to have been pawned in Asheville.
This is what I call community oriented journalism; finding out if individuals in positions of power are abusing that power. We don’t know how far this investigation will go, but it appears something illegal is going on.
We hope the county acts quickly to retrieve any county-owned weapons that are in any Asheville pawn shops.
If the items are not there, it means someone went to get them on Thursday.
I must say we are nervous about this situation, for you, for the county, for our law enforcement, and for our own safety.
We’ve been advised to be careful, and we are trying to do so. We have consulted security experts and have and will take appropriate action to try to be safe.
We know this might, in a weird way, sound funny, But friends and acquaintances say it is dead serious.
I have the feeling Mr. Bennett may be as nervous as I, and I hope everyone will support him and support this newspaper as this situation is resolved, layer by layer.
We hope for the best. We thank all of you who have voiced your strong support for what we are doing.