Protesters gather to voice concerns over hire

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Protesters gathered in Downtown Evansville Tuesday to voice concerns over the hiring of Wally Paynter as the Executive Director of the Substance Abuse Council.

Paynter is also the head of the Tri-State Alliance. In recent years, his ethical and administrative leadership of that organization came under scrutiny.

Some people gathered outside the council’s office to show their disappointment with the decision to hire Paynter, while others showed up to support him.

“Political attacks against marginalized leaders historically happens a lot and hurts the community, can hurt the nonprofit, can hurt the mission and I have dedicated my time for zero dollars to this organization to serve this community and I’m not going to let it get thrown all away,” Julie Robinson with the Tri-State Alliance said.

“I know people personally who said Wally Paynter gave me alcohol as a minor at Pride Prom, and now he is in a position where he’s overseeing alcohol and substance abuse. That’s the wrong position for that job, that is the wrong person,” protester Evan Phillips said.

Paynter was head of the Tri-State Alliance when it lost its not-for-profit status a few years ago.

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(This story was originally published on June 23, 2020)

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