Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Horner’s Son

 "Comments from the Web" in the  Portsmouth Daily Times (2/12/2012)

Horner’s Son: People Who Live in Crack Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

David Horner, son of the former Portsmouth police chief, has injected himself into his father’s campaign for sheriff of Scioto County, thereby making himself a campaign issue. Presumably it was Horner’s son who earlier this year signed a post in an online chatroom  as DavidHorner2, responding to previous anonymous responders who identified themselves as Pepprkorn, firstresponder1, and ramz711.  Criticizing the three, who didn’t have anything good to say about his father, DavidHorner2 began, “People like you kill me.”  Then he turns in particular to firstresponder1, who had asked “how in the heck does this guy run for sheriff when he is on worker’s compensation????” Horner1 responded snidely, “So your [sic] telling me if you had P.T.O. [paid or personal time off, i.e. workman’s comp] you wouldn’t take it?” [F]irstresponder1 had also written, “also i think the next sheriff will be the current one [Donini] we have right now.” Horner2 replied to firstresponder1, “As to the Sheriff part, The only reason I could think you don’t want [Charles] Horner in there and the current one [Donini] to stay is because Horner actually does something besides sit at a desk all day. Are you afraid he is going to make it hard for you to score your drugs or is it that he already has and your [sic] mad?” (Quoted in  Comments from the Web, in the  Portsmouth Daily Times [2/12/2012].)
The chutzpah of David Horner lecturing anybody about drugs  might escape you if you didn’t know that the police chief’s son had not only been using drugs but had been dealing them  from high school onwards. That adolescent  stage of David Horner’s drug career culminated on June 25, 2000, according to Shawnee Sentinel writer John Welton, when he was arrested at the age of nineteen and subsequently found guilty  of   possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. I looked in  the  Portsmouth Daily Times  archives for the whole month of  June, 2000, but found no  mention of David Horner’s arrest. I looked also at court records, but found no mention of his arrest there either. Does this mean Horner’s son was not arrested? Hardly, because the PDT has a long tradition of not reporting embarrassing news about anyone connected with the wealthy and influential crooks who control the city politically and economically. When Jeff Barron made the mistake of reporting that a drug dealer who was arrested worked as a mechanic at Glockner Motors, he was fired not long afterwards. There was a report on the arrest of Horner’s son in court records, according to John Welton, but it had been expunged. “The criminal records of the Chief’s son had been hidden by court order in March 2003 by judge Richard Schisler,” Welton reported in The Sentinel on July 18, 2003. Welton, whose handle was Doug Deep, had dug deep and found that David Horner’s   arrest for drugs record had not been completely expunged.
 David Horner continued selling drugs  after his 2000 conviction. A person in a position to know told me that Horner’s son  had brazenly sold drugs in Damon’s Restaurant, directly across from the Portsmouth police station. I learned from published sources that he was also selling drugs in New Boston, where  an ambitious New Boston sergeant, Matt Powell, was  making a name for himself as a drug-buster. Powell claimed he was close to arresting David Horner for dealing drugs in New Boston, but Chief Horner,  in an effort to prevent his son  from being arrested, began putting obstacles in Powell’s way. According to a timeline John Welton assembled for these events, during January, 2003, David Horner was “under surveillance by Sgt. Matt Powell for possible criminal activity in the Village of New Boston. Drug dealers claim that they tipped off Chief Horner that his son was being investigated by Sgt. Matt Powell.”
Even after his conviction in 2000 David Horner as a twenty-something continued to receive preferential treatment when he got in trouble with the law. A very reliable person told me of hearing on a police scanner that a David Horner had been found to have drugs and paraphernalia in his car when he was stopped by police in West Portsmouth. No  report of this incident appeared in the local media nor is there any reference to it in David Horner’s rap sheet. Another person told me of  hearing on another occasion that Horner’s son had been stopped in Sciotoville and found to be in possession of  drugs. A senior citizen couple told me they were near Andy’s Glass shop on 8th Street when David Horner drove into the back of a truck. Obviously in a drugged state, Horner was detained by two Portsmouth police officers until Chief Horner arrived and drove him away. That accident was not reported in the media, nor is there any record of it on David Horner’s rap sheet. These unreported incidents took place about ten years ago. But as recently as two years ago, while Horner was still  chief, a Portsmouth police officer told me Horner was still protecting his son. That’s all he would tell me, and I think he regretted telling me that much, because he was taking a chance telling me anything. 
Being father of a  son,  but one who fortunately has never had a drug problem, I can sympathize with Horner’s father doing everything he could  to prevent his son from being arrested and sent to prison, but I cannot condone his failure to uphold the law, which as a police officer,  he was sworn to do.  Horner elbowed his way up the ranks of the Portsmouth police force, from Sergeant Screw-up, to Captain Incompetent, to Chief Enabler, finding it easier to ignore and cover up than confront his son’s drug problems.

Did an automobile accident in front of Andy's Glass go unreported?

I began this piece by quoting Horner’s son boasting that his father “actually does something beside sit at a desk all day,” the implication being that that’s all Donini does, sit at his desk all day.   But John Welton thought that  that was just what the father was guilty of,  as far as his addicted son was concerned—he sat on  his rear. “I have an agenda for you Chief Horner, Welton wrote in The Sentinel. “Get off your butt  and do your job. Why don’t you go to the Sciotoville crack house where you have admitted to Sentinel  staff members that you were aware your son is buying his crack. Call me a liar Chief Horner. We notified you of the drug house, as we have done on many of your local busts, and your words were, ‘I know he’s there but what can I do? If he doesn’t buy it there, he will buy it somewhere else.’ Well heck, Chuck, if you shut off his supply then he might have to leave town with the other drug users and our town would be safe. That is a terrible reason for not busting a dope house you know exists.” Yes,  Welton is an ex-felon, but in my experience in Portsmouth the indicted felons are far more truthful than the unindicted felons who control the city poitically and economically. If the scales of justice had been balanced,  David Horner himself would probably be an ex-felon.
It would have been better for his father, for his mother and for himself, if  Horner’s son had not gotten involved at all in his father’s campaign because in doing so he calls attention not only to his own history of drug abuse but to his father’s  helping to cover it up.  In fact, it would have been better for everybody in Scioto County if Horner had not chosen to run for sheriff because if he is elected, the same cycle will probably begin again. Horner cannot help being Horner. And now there is someone else who could end up paying for the sins not only of the father but also of the grandfather. There is in David Horner’s rap sheet,  if it too hasn’t been expunged, a record of his paternity case against a woman who bore two children while she consorted with him during his drug daze. David legally challenged  that he was the biological father of one of the two children, and DNA tests proved he was right. He therefore was not legally obligated to provide financial support for the unrelated child. For the sake of the child whom he did accept as his, it would be better if that child did not have a grandfather who might become the despised sheriff of Scioto County, just as it would have been better for David if he had not had to grow up as the son of the despised Portsmouth police chief.
In view of David Horner’s past drug-dealing, and in view of his father’s reported covering up for him, it is ironic that members of the SOLACE group are backing his father for sheriff. I believe some members of  SOLACE have been bamboozled by Horner, but those who know him best—and who knows Horner better than members of the Portsmouth police force?—want no part of him. In a straw vote conducted by the Portsmouth police union, Horner got not a single vote favoring him for sheriff.
I would not have written this particular post about Horner’s son if he  hadn’t implied firstresponder1 was a druggie just because firstresponder1 predicted Horner’s father would not be elected sheriff.  “Are you afraid he is going to make it hard for you to score your drugs or is it that he already has and your [sic] mad?” Horner’s son asked responder1. Apparently Horner’s son  has not learned that people who live in crack houses should not throw stones.