Eminent domain abuse in Mt Gilead OH, 11/10/06

By Keith Owen

As a concerned citizen, I believe a Judge - Howard E. Hall - is evicting people unlawfully from a residential community in a secluded area of Mt Gilead OH to drill for possible oil.

Mt Gilead in Morrow County is very low-income area. The people are very poor. Most are elderly, some are disabled parents with small children, but these issues have not stopped Judge Hall from demanding they leave their property without compensation. It has come down to security Guards and the Sheriff's department harassing the residents. The water and sewer systems being locked up and denied. Heavy fines being placed on these poor people, over $100 a day for staying on "their" property.

Judge Hall has used every legal loophole he can to exert his will on these people. It is just wrong/ He is getting away with this abuse because it is a low-income area where people cannot afford a long drawn out court battle, and Judge Hall knows it. The situation has been going on for more then 2 yrs.

Judge Hall has been in office since 1999 and abuses and harassment - violations of citizens' constitutional rights - have gone on every since. The Judge uses the sheriff's department as a harassment team.

I fear this county is being over run by a small group of bullies in powerful positions. They are dictating what people must do. If anyone objects, Judge Hall take flimsy, false charges and exerts the stiffest penalties in the sentencing phase, causing the rest of the community to agree and cower from these bandits.

These injustices are insults to the American Constitution. The Judge does not seem to care about the people he was voted in to protect. The State has not responded to our complaints and the residents affected by these actions are in dire straights.

Keith Owen: RedWriters@aol.com