ONLY ON 3: Pender Health Dept. issues lead to war of words

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Health Department issues in Pender County continue to heat up after a “he said she said” battle on Facebook.

Topsail Online printed an article today claiming County Commissioner Chester Ward said he was misrepresented on a story we ran yesterday. But that’s not what he told us.

Ward told WWAY Wednesday that Commission Chair George Brown might need to take a step back and re-evaluate his position on the Health Board. That’s not the story reported by the Topsail Online blog on Facebook.

Ken Clarke started the blog after he lost his job when the Pender Post bought the Topsail Voice. According to Clarke, Ward said his comments in our interview were, “not a true representation of what he said, noting that the question he was asked was never aired and his entire answer was cut off.”

In fact, despite what Clarke reports, the full question and answer shows ward was clear about Brown leaving the health board.

Wednesday WWAY’s Cliff Pyron asked Ward: “You, David Williams, (Jimmy) Tate all kind of stepped up and talked to Mr. Brown (at Monday’s commission meeting). Do you think maybe he’s biased when it comes to the Health Board? Does he need to take a step back and reevaluate his role with the Health Board?”

Ward answered, “Maybe he needs to reevaluate his role there. Maybe there’s still some emotional tension still there, and if so we may be asking him if he’s willing to remove from that Board of Health as a member there. Maybe we can appoint somebody there who would like to be a part of that Board of Health.”

Clarke, who would not go on camera, says he stands by his story. Ward says it’s wrong.

“I don’t know what the intention of him to say… calling anybody a liar. I don’t call anybody a liar. I don’t know what the outcome of trying to say something about our interview. I don’t know,” Ward said.

Despite the recent controversy the Pender County Health Department says it is trying to stay as transparent as possible.

In a comment on his Facebook posting, Clarke maintained the accuracy of his story saying, in part, “I have not and do not question the validity of WWAY’s interview with Commissioner Chester Ward.

“The content concerning WWAY in this article came about from an extensive conversation with Ward, and convey his opinion, not mine.”

Categories: Pender

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