By Bill Robinson
Madison County Sheriff Nelson O'Donnell was on vacation and missed the annual Richmond Kiwanis Club auction Saturday.
When he returns to his office, however, he will find something missing -- his high-back desk chair.
Kiwanian David Harkleroad, a former Richmond police chief, said he did not know how the sheriff's chair managed to get from the sheriff's office in the courthouse annex to Richmond City Hall, where the auction was carried live on Time-Warner cable (and WEKY-AM).
For most of Saturday morning, the high bids for the chair came from inmates of the Madison County Detention Center, who pooled their resources, Harkleroad said. Their last bid was $120.
"If the inmates had won the bid, I'm not sure if they would have been able to come pick up their purchase. I sure wasn't going to deliver it to the jail and end up becoming an inmate myself," he said. "I still remember last year's auction when Sheriff O'Donnell came close to hauling auctioneer Ray DeSloover off to jail for trying to sell one of the city's stepladders that was sitting in a corner of City Hall."
County Attorney Marc Robbins sent in a bid of $120 Saturday to keep the inmates from claiming the sheriff's chair.
Robbins' daughter Katelyn, one of several Model Laboratory School Key Club members who helped with the auction, kept him informed by text messages as he attended the county Democratic Party's convention one block away at the courthouse.
"I knew the sheriff's chair would be a steal at $120," Robbins said when he got to City Hall. "Nelson hasn't spent much time sitting in his desk chair. He's usually out rounding up offenders."
Even if the sheriff redeems his chair, Robbins said he would still let the Kiwanis Club cash his $120 check.
"The Kiwanis Club does a lot of good work for our community," he said.
DeSloover seemed not to have learned anything from his brush with the law last year. He auctioned off a fiberglass stepladder that was sitting in the corner of City Hall's commission chamber. It sold for $75.
"Mayor Connie Lawson has known me for nearly 35 years," DeSloover said.
"She should know better than to let city employees leave a nice ladder like that sitting around when I'm going to be working the Kiwanis Club auction."
"I don't know how Ray gets away with this stuff," Harkleroad said. "I guess you could call him the Teflon auctioneer."
Auction coordinator John Reed said the Kiwanis Club appreciated free use of City Hall for the auction. "Because it has seating for our audience and has a cable television camera, the commission chamber is a perfect place for the auction," he said. "The city also donated a season pass for an individual and a family for Paradise Cove for the auction, and we are truly grateful for the support of city government and to all the individuals and businesses who donated items and services for the auction."
A report on how much money the auction realized would not be ready until late Monday, he said.
Kiwanians who participated in setting up and running and also obtaining sponsorships and items for the 37th Annual Kiwanis Auction were: Jack Bisping. Retired Lt. Col., U.S. Army; Danny Damrel, Realtor, Coldwell Banker / DeSloover Realty; Ray Desloover. Realtor/Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker / DeSloover Realty; Dave Harkleroad, Sales Representative, Coldwell Banker / DeSloover Realty; Tammy Harkleroad; Dr. Glen Kleine, retired EKU Dean and Professor Emeritus; Joan Kleine, Retired Madison County School Teacher; Bob Lilly. VP and Mortgage Specialist, Cumberland Valley National Bank; Ben McPherson, Sales, Francis & Schennberg Realty; Dr. Kim A. Naugle. EKU Associate Dean; Dr. Robert Nayle, Retired EKU Professor Emeritus; Lora Noble, Broker/Realtor, Coldwell Banker / DeSloover Realty; Adam Poff, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones; John Reed, Realtor, Coldwell Banker / DeSloover Realty; Earl Rhodes, Retired Real Estate Broker, SRA, N. E. Rhodes, Co.; Helen Rhodes; Elizabeth Robinson, Agent, Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance; Dr. Morris Taylor, Retired EKU Professor Emeritus; and Beth Thompson, EKU Director, Educational Talent Search.
Also following Kiwanians were involved in obtaining sponsorships and items for the auction: Phillis Adams, Head Start Director, Kentucky River Foothills; Brenda Blankenship, Retired Purchasing Agent; Robert Blythe, City Commissioner and Pastor; Dr. Christopher Boni, Chiropractor; Dr. Ken Clawson, Retired EKU Professor Emeritus; Elbert Hudson, Retired - Superintendent of Schools, Lee County, KY; Todd Maggard, Manager, Wal-Mart Supercenter; Bruce E. Nichols, Vice President, National City Bank; P. Jared Noble, CPA and Principal, Craft, Noble and Company, PLLC; Charles Shelby, Retired Executive Vice President, Marketing, Commonwealth Life Insurance Co.; Brandon Shively, Commercial Lender, Community Trust Bank; Jack Taylor, Retired County Extension Agent, Agriculture, Knox County; Coleman Turpin , Owner , Turpin Funeral Home.
Back to Richmond Kiwanis Home Page