Lisa King, The Sentinel News

"Thou Shalt Not Post Commandments on Door"

Last week a paper copy of the Ten Commandments once again found its way to a place of prominence: the front door of the Shelby County Courthouse.

The 8-by-11-inch copy was taped to the inside of the door, next to the sign banning food and drink.

Circuit Court Clerk Lowry Miller, who took down a framed copy of the document after Shelby County resident Linda Allewalt took issue with it being posted in the driver’s license office, said he had seen the copy on the front door of the courthouse but didn’t know who put it there.

“I’ve been on vacation, so I don’t know how long it was there,” he said.

A reporter snapped a photograph of the Ten Commandments on the door Friday.

County Attorney Hart Megibben said he also had seen the copy on the door and said it was the responsibility of the county judge-executive’s office to make sure it was taken down.

“Each department head is in charge of their own office, and as far as it’s anyone’s duty to police the common area, the executive branch would be in charge of that,” he said. “Whenever something is wrong there, the judge’s office attempts to remedy it. To me, something like that would almost be like graffiti.”

County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger said Tuesday he was not aware the copy was on the door but would check on it at once, and if it was, it would come down.

“I’ll call maintenance over there, and tell them to take it down if it’s still up,” he said.

County Clerk Sue Carol Perry said she thinks the person who posted it was an employee at the courthouse.

“I am sure it was somebody over there, because when that story came out, I had more than one person from over there call and say, ‘Good for you,’” she said.

Perry is referring to an article that appeared in The Sentinel-NewsApril 22 about the fact that she had not yet taken down her framed copy of the Ten Commandments that hung in her office, posted where customers could

see it.

“Of course, I’ve taken mine down now,” she said. “I had intended to put up a poster in its place saying, former home of the Ten Commandments, removed because of one person, but upon legal counsel, I found I could get sued,” she said. “Our insurance company would not cover me because it’s against the law, and I am law-abiding citizen.”

Megibben said that after Perry came to him for advice about whether to remove the copy from her office, he did some research on the topic.

“After consulting with KACo – they are the ones who would defend that type of lawsuit – they cited a case in McCreary County where they were sued awhile back,” he said, adding that the county lost the suit, which came about because a copy of the Ten Commandments was placed in the courthouse there.

“So, based upon that, I advised her to remove it,” he said.

Rothenburger said that nothing should be taped or affixed to the front door of the courthouse for any reason, but that people do it all the time.

“People put up stuff on the front door all the time, about sales or a fish fry or whatever,” he said.

As to who he thinks may have posted the copy, he said, there’s no telling.

“The thing is, there’s so much access to the courthouse, it could be anybody,” he said.

Megibben agreed that nothing should be posted on the door of the courthouse, because there is a bulletin board for the public to use for such purposes. He noted however, that the Ten Commandments could not be posted there, either.

It started out as just an ordinary day at work for Conrad Lanham, a deputy jailer at the Shelby County Detention Center. Then everything changed in a heartbeat when an inmate grabbed a female employee and put a sharp object to her throat. What Lanham did next earned him the title of Kentucky Deputy Jailer of the Year for 2010, an award given each year to a deputy who has displayed remarkable courage and bravery.

A Shelbyville business is considering doubling the size of its plant, and state economic development officials announced an incentive package for the company on Thursday. Creative Packaging Company, located at 1700 Isaac Shelby Drive, is considering doubling its 100,000 square-foot plant, and the potential expansion could create 25 new jobs over a 10-year period.  The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority Board in Frankfort granted preliminary approval for $500,000 in state tax incentives for the project, which calls for adding the new jobs at an average hourly rate of $10.88 to $12.51 per hour, averaging $14 per hour after employee benefits are included.

This Memorial Day weekend, Sally Shipley of Shelby County at last will lay to rest her uncle – a pilot in World War II whose remains were thought lost. Now, 67, years later, Army officials not only have identified his remains but also those of his 11-member crew from their crash site in Papau, New Guinea, near northeast Australia.

Last week a paper copy of the Ten Commandments once again found its way to a place of prominence: the front door of the Shelby County Courthouse. The 8-by-11-inch copy was taped to the inside of the door, next to the sign banning food and drink.