On December 21st, a letter was sent out by Kennett Area Democrats (KAD) to all Kennett Democrats that appeared intended to discredit me (click here for a summary of what we consider to be falsehoods, omissions, unsupported claims, and misleading statements in this letter). At first glance, this letter appears highly unusual. It is likely the first time that KAD - and probably any local Democratic party in the region - has reached out to its constituents to lavish praise on a specific township employee (for his “heroic efforts”), and then implored their constituents to support him. It is not even clear if Ratliff is a fellow Democrat. So why is KAD supporting Ratliff?
This letter may be understood, however, as further support for the views expressed by Supervisors Leff and Hoffman in the special press statement released less than 24 hours earlier. The ethical concerns I described regarding Kennett Township manager Eden Ratliff also raise awkward questions about Leff and Hoffman’s oversight of Ratliff just as they are trying to distance themselves from Lisa Moore, the former township manager convicted just weeks before of embezzling millions of dollars under the noses of Leff and Hoffman.
It appears likely that Leff and Hoffman provided input into the letter. Some of the falsehoods include details that were drawn from a private conversation between myself and Leff, and other private conversations between myself and Hoffman. The fact that Hoffman repeatedly claimed in her campaign that I am motivated by unspecified “special interests” makes it more likely that she provided more specific input into the KAD letter.
The private conversations referenced in the letter are relevant in other respects. In a conversation held with each supervisor in the summer of 2020, I expressed concerns about the actions and behaviors of Ratliff, and offered to provide additional details in writing and meet with the supervisors. I offered to meet again with Hoffman this past July, to offer ideas for her campaign based on what I had learned through my canvassing of residents (Hoffman’s Campaign Manager Pat Mueller and her friend Sara Leff joined this meeting). Hoffman professed shock when I repeated these concerns, but appeared eager to accept my offer to provide details if Hoffman arranged a formal meeting with the other supervisors. Neither Leff nor Hoffman acted on any of my offers (nor apparently, on my concerns). Readers will of course have to decide for themselves whether my account or Hoffman’s is true, as there are no recordings of these meetings.