EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY – With the race for Montgomery County Pct. 4 Commissioner heating up, and early voting starting tomorrow, things have begun to get ugly. That is, for the incumbent and one of his three challengers. Unfortunately, things are about to get much uglier.
As a reporter, I have rarely written an article in first person, and have never done so regarding an election. However, having firsthand knowledge of this situation and many of those involved, I believe I owe it to my fellow constituents of Pct. 4 to share that information, along with what my research and multiple interviews have revealed.
Serious allegations have been made and charges have been filed. Some are new and some are old, but the common denominator is candidate Monte Lane, who is challenging Commissioner Ed Rinehart a second time for his seat, after losing in a run-off election four years ago.
Some may already be aware of allegations about the assault of Monte Lane’s daughter at his own hand, her removal by Child Protective Services, the involvement of law enforcement and the family’s subsequent move to Utah.
That synopsis only skims the surface of the story, told in explicit detail by more than one member of another family. They no longer live in Pct. 4, but they say they could not sit back quietly and watch someone they believe to be a liar, a fraud, a racist and someone capable of violence possibly take a powerful position.
Since they came forward in the last two weeks, the assertion has repeatedly been made by the Lane camp that this family is part of Rinehart’s campaign. They say the mother, who has been the most outspoken, is a liar and the story, which includes photographic and other evidence, is a fabrication to discredit Lane and get Rinehart re-elected.
Therein lies the rub, this story did not come to my attention just since Monte Lane’s campaign signs started popping up. The woman he repeatedly called a liar in an over 2 ½ hour interview, contacted me with this information in 2007 when I was employed by another publication.
I was presented with the same details regarding Lane’s alleged abuse of his daughter, the involvement of Child Protective Services, and her concerns that he was getting away with it and the child would be in more danger.
Although the story was disturbing, several factors prevented me from pursuing it. Monte Lane had lost the primary election the previous year. He was once again a private citizen and there was no way of knowing he would ever run for office again. If he were in trouble with law enforcement for child abuse, I reasoned, he certainly would not put himself in a position for his life to be under a microscope. He also had a large extended family who I felt there was no reason to embarrass.
I believe most responsible journalists do not want to cause the child any more harm by publicizing what has happened to their family so that everyone they know and their friends from school will be aware of what happened.
However, now that Monte Lane has voluntarily placed his life and his family under scrutiny, and the woman in question under attack, people need to know that she came forward with the same story when Rinehart had already beaten Lane and there would not be another election for three years.
At that time, she spoke of her concern for his daughter, who is now a high school senior. Now, she and other directly involved members of her family are expressing their concern for voters they are afraid will be duped.
In the coming days, I will be posting a series of exposes about this and other issues related to the Pct. 4 Commissioner’s race. I hope voters will take time to consider the facts and evidence presented and make an informed and intelligent decision when they go to the polls.
Tomorrow, learn more about the family who came forward to stop Monte Lane’s quest for power and what they say he did to his daughter and their son.
Read Lane’s response to their allegations. Learn which questions Lane would and would not answer and his explanation for the family’s move to another state and to photographic evidence that their statements were true. Also, did he or didn’t he apologize just a few months ago to the young man who was involved in the situation?
Stay with us, this is only the beginning…