County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Monday questioned why East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert turned away 11 regular citizens who came to hear his press conference about calls that led to an extortion charge. Then, he put it up on Facebook Live.
“I thought what happened last week and the things that were said by Mr. Lambert just seemed a bit delusional,” said Commissioner Boyd. “What we saw today would seem to confirm that fact.”
An off-duty East Ridge police officer stood at the single door entering a meeting room at the East Ridge Community Center. He said that no one could enter except media. Seven of the 11 people in the lobby said they came as East Ridge citizens to hear their mayor, even though all were supporting Boyd. The remaining four had no comment.
“Think about it,” said Commissioner Boyd, “exactly why did Mayor Lambert call a press conference on Friday? Six calls and he could have had the same audience of press present he had today. And why say what he said Friday and then turn away East Ridge residents today and put it on Facebook?
“It’s just a well-known belief around Hamilton County that East Ridge politics can be rotten, but Mayor Lambert seems to have taken the image of an East Ridge politician to a new level.”
Commissioner Boyd said, "Lambert opened his campaign with a fundraiser on April 9 with a host committee heavy on CVB leadership, Exit I developers and prominent Democrats.
"He had not put out a campaign sign until this weekend. He qualified for the race two months ago.
"Unifi-Ed, a liberal activist group led by a self-professed union organizer, is knocking on doors promoting Lambert and other candidates. Unifi-Ed was paid more than $1,500 by Lambert for staff support, according to his financial disclosure. That apparently means Lambert is paying people to go tell voters in District 8 to support him and other candidates.
"I am not sure if these passionate young people working for a cause or a check.
"Lambert apparently paid for an estimated 6,233 palm cards Unifi-Ed is using based on the amount his disclosure says he paid for them and the known, fair cost to print a palm card."