MERCER COUNTY —
It was standing room only at the normally quiet Mercer County commissioners meeting, as several residents demanded help from their elected officials to stop what they claim are unfair banking practices related to home foreclosures.
Some 30 people, including several who brought infants with them, attended Thursday’s meeting.
Rebecca Krimone told the board she had recently become involved in the county’s court system, when her mortgage holder began the foreclosure process against her. She complained to commissioners that she believes the foreclosure process is part of a nationwide system of “illegally” taking people’s homes from them. She also voiced several complaints against the judge hearing her case and about sheriff’s deputies who removed her from the courtroom during her hearing, claiming that she was injured in the process.
Also advocating for her, along with others he says he represents, Michael “Mickey” Paoletta demanded action from the commissioners, calling on them to challenge the banking laws and call for reform.
As he cited example after example of people who have had their homes foreclosed, Commissioner Chairman John Lechner asked him to “calm himself” and “if you have another point, please make it. You’ve made your point and given several examples. Is there another point you want to make?”
Paoletta got angry and accused Lechner of not meaning what he said when he said the pledge of allegiance to the flag at the start of the meeting.
“You said ‘for all’ and you’re not representing ‘all.’ And that’s not even an American flag. The American flag doesn’t have a gold tassel and an eagle on top of the pole. That’s a United Nations flag,” Paoletta said.
“I want to know what you’re going to do about this,” Paoletta yelled.
“What am I going to do? Nothing. Because there is nothing I can do. I have no authority whatsoever over the courts. I have the same recourse that you do as a private citizen,” Lechner said.
Hermitage resident Larry Snyder, who for years has had an adversarial relationship with the commissioners, particularly Commissioner Brian Beader, lodged similar complaints about the county’s judges, local magistrates and the district attorney. He said he is upset with their refusal to sue government entities.
“I think we have a good-ol’-boys network going on here in Mercer County,” Snyder said.
Beader called in for the meeting and was on the speakerphone. When he refused to answer Snyder’s allegations, Snyder began singing “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E” to the telephone, referring to Beader’s absence from the meeting because he is working at a construction job in Florida.
“It’s a disgrace you can’t be here,” Snyder said.
Beader said “Mr. Chairman, I will have no comment regarding anything Mr. Snyder said.”