Matthews Disregards Smoking Rule

Clerk Repeatedly Smokes Near Courthouse

When he isn’t being accused of losing court documents, when he isn’t being accused of underpaying and overworking his staff, when he isn’t wasting time sitting in on trials, you can often find Putnam Circuit Clerk Ronnie W. Matthews on a “smoke break” just outside the courthouse – yards within the 25-foot ban.

“It isn’t a law,” Matthews once told in between puffs. 

So, Matthews puffs away, despite a sign, with bright red CAPITAL letters, reading “NO SMOKING WITHIN 25 FEET OF THE BUILDING.”

The rule is intended so that people can enter and exit the courthouse while breathing clean air. For some, who have asthma, smoke-free air is more than a convenience.

Matthews, (R) is an elected official, who seems to do what he wants, which, apparently, doesn’t include considering others.

Meanwhile, no one takes action to remove Matthews from office.