Saturday, October 06, 2007

The County's Side of the Chuckwagon Story

After dropping off my letters yesterday I spoke with two county commissioners. First, Bill Brown called me to let me know he read my letter and wanted me to clarify exactly what I was advocating for. I informed him that I wanted an explanation for why this happened and I wanted the ordinance changed so restaurants could cook outside 7 days a week if they wished. He then asked me a few questions and let me know that he didn't have all the facts from the health department at that time. He said a good way to advocate for changing the ordinance would be to turn in a petition at his office.

Later in the afternoon I spoke with Nelson Peters who presented to me a vastly different story than the one put forth by Frank Gray. Peters started by saying that several months ago he was brought in to mediate a meeting between 7 or 8 city and county departments regarding Bruce Marshall and his business. He said most of the issues were minor and they worked them out. He said the only outstanding issue was an unpaid sign permit and after Bruce informed Peters that he didn't have the money to pay it Peters offered to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Peters said that at no time was Bruce Marshall limited in the number of days he could cook. He said they sent a letter to the state board of health trying to help Bruce and they were awaiting a ruling back from the state on the issue. He said during this time there was absolutely no enforcement of the 10 day limit and that Bruce was free to cook everyday if he wished. He also said that he was cooking every day and that all of this was well documented by the health department.

Obviously this story contradicts the two columns by Frank Gray. I asked Peters, if the health department wasn't enforcing the ordinance and local government was bending over backwards to help him, then why would Bruce feel like they were harassing him? Peters responded by saying that he thought that Bruce understandably didn't follow the intricacies of local government and once he ran into a little bit of resistance he kind of just threw up and his hands and decided they were out to get him. Peters felt like the media has only portrayed one side of the story and that story was not completely accurate.

Obviously this needs a little more digging because these two stories don't add up and I think we all need to agree on what the facts are before we can move forward. Peters gave some information on two individuals that were involved in negotiations between the county and Bruce so I'm going to try and follow up with them. If any readers have info to share then feel free or if you'd rather do so anonymously then send me an e-mail at

Pending new information I am also considering filing a request via the state's open records law to acquire any and all information regarding the health department's interaction with Bruce Marshall and Chuckwagon bbq...


J Q Taxpayer said...

Sorry, I don't buy it. Remember Nelson Peters on HS? That puts me on guard right there.

List to what he said. No facts provided but just accountable general statements. How did they know he cooked everyday? They have someone drive by and if so let us see the logs.

What departments where at this strange meeting to help out Marshall. After any meeting like that a memo is written stating what the group had agreed to and who would take care of it. Did he show you a copy of the memo?

Neslon Peters, I know how political he is. Look at some of his best political friends. Oh, sorry you will have to go over and see Tom Henry's new friends.

Again, it is circle the wagons and CYA. Being honest and making things better just does not fit many of our local government officials.

I have asked myself this question, what would motivate Marshall's family to say what they did? The only thing I can think of they just wanted to vent on the very people they believed assisted in seeing Marshall's life end early.

There was no money or 15 minutes of fame to gain. So how do you explain it away?

They could not wait until the man was buried before starting a coverup which shows just how cold these people really are.

Jeff Pruitt said...


Nelson did provide the name of Bruce's lawyer that he claims will corroborate his story. He also said that the health department did drive by regularly to document that he was cooking outdoors. Of course that begs the question, if you weren't enforcing the rules against him then why the hell were you driving by and spying on him?

I agree that there was nothing to gain for his family and it still baffles me why Bruce would cause such a ruckus if there was absolutely no reason to do so.

It doesn't add up. But myself and others are still digging into it...

Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...

Why would the County get involved with the City's Health Department? I just am not clear here.

J Q Taxpayer said...

The health department is the County's. Fort Wayne merged (gave up)into the County's a long time ago. Just before I became old enough to be dirt.