Ford said a trial for his predecessor would keep the nation from moving forward. The trial could have lasted for months and combined with the preparation for the trial, the nation would have still been dealing with Watergate for years.
But even Gerald Ford never signed an agreement saying Nixon had done nothing wrong and allowing him to say that he should have been more transparent.
The reasoning given for Woolston's resignation made him sound like a conscientious public servant who simply wanted to save Joplin from all of the turmoil.
The hearing would likely have been completed in one evening, a vote taken and the public would have had a greater understanding of the events that have plagued the city for the past four years and perhaps some answers they have not received from the area's newspaper of record, the Joplin Globe.
If Woolston had been removed from the council, he had the right to appeal the decision through the Jasper County Circuit Court.
I question whether there was any need to have any such agreement with Woolston. The councilman had nothing to gain from going through a hearing. He has noted that he either is or has been under investigation by the FBI, relating back to information uncovered during the state audit.
The last thing Woolston wanted to do was testify under oath at a public hearing and have his every word examined by investigators. It was Woolston's own words during his interview with investigator Thomas Loraine that have caused him the most damage to this point.
Woolston's lawyers certainly earned their money. They pushed through a resignation agreement that made their client seem more like a misunderstood man who was only doing what he thought was right with no interest whatsoever in how he could benefit from it. Joplin City Attorney Peter Edwards and five members of the City Council gave Woolston everything he wanted, when in all likelihood, he would have resigned before the hearing without that agreement.
And even if he had opted for the hearing, how much more turmoil could it have caused than this ill-advised agreement?
Instead, we are stuck with a "joint agreement" that no one completely believes.
It's time to move on, they say. We heard that after the departure of Wallace Bajjali as any examination of the roles local people played in bringing Texas con artist David Wallace to Joplin was thoroughly discouraged.
Now we are doing the same thing with the Mike Woolston situation.
Our leaders are creating an alternate reality to avoid dealing with situations that might prove embarrassing, in this case, not just to Woolston, but to others whose dealings may also have been brought up during a public hearing.
This is not a deal that was designed to protect the public interest.
It's time for the lies to stop.