My Email Exchange With Haywood County Commissioner Mark Pless

At a recent meeting of the Haywood County Commission, Eddie Cabe called out Commissioner Mark Pless (actually Steven Mark Pless) for Pless’s email suggesting that Eddie move to Marion if he wanted to live in a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

Later in the meeting, Joe Alan James challenged Pless, asking if he had really sent such an email.  Here it is on video:

I found Pless’ response to be totally inappropriate for an elected official speaking to a constituent, so I sent him the following email:

Commissioner Pless:

I voted for you.  At the January 21 meeting of the Haywood County Commission you made me ashamed to admit it.

Mr. Cabe can indeed be trying, and he often tests the limits of my patience.  While I generally agree with him on principle, I often disagree with him regarding his approach to problems.

Having said that, Eddie has lived here a long time.  Eddie has been Eddie for as long as I have known him.  And somehow until recently, no sitting Commissioner suggested that Eddie move elsewhere.

I suspect that in your heart of hearts, you see that your email to Eddie was inappropriate.  Had you said as much in your comments and apologized, you would have earned some respect from me, and I suspect also from many others present.

I recognize that it is also possible that you feel, as stated in your comments at the recent Commission meeting, that your frustration justified the suggestion that Eddie move elsewhere.  If that is truly the case, I suggest that you resign the Commission and stick to selling insurance.

Paul Yeager
Waynesville, NC


And here is what I received in response:

Mr. Yeager

Not sure what voting or not voting for me has to do with any of this. You can be ashamed about me standing up to being bullied and harassed if that makes you feel better about your friend. You know your friends behavior got him kicked out of the the Republican Party and banished from attending any state or local events for behaving like he does. If memory serves me correct you have been banished by the Republican Party as well. Instead of bashing people who do not take his garbage you should have been a true friend all along  and helped him overcome the way he treats people. You excuse his behavior by saying he is trying and tests your limits of patience however you show no such grace toward myself or any of the other commissioners. I have disappointed you once and your ashamed of me but somehow you make excuses for the multiple failures friend had made.  You have a misguided concept that people who make the choice to seek public office deserve to be treated as less than human. This freedom of speech you extend to your buddy also is given to me by the same Constitution. If I chose to express myself your group stands offended because I am not afforded the same rights as you. Our president continually pushes back against people who harass and lie about him and you applaud his actions. When we are harassed and lied about you condemn me because I push back. Seems like a double standard. You only believe the parts of the constitution that help justify your actions, your mobs actions and your friends actions. If memory serves me correctly you have been charged with assaulting Ted Carr, trespassing and pointing a gun at someone last August. You can’t control yourself or your actions however I am supposed to be alarmed because you disagree with what I said in an email. For the record if Eddie and Monroe don’t want comments on their private emails stop addressing them to 47 people and sending them over the county email. Neither of them are county employees and have no right to send personal emails over the county system. If you involve someone in your private email conversation and then get your feelings hurt it’s your own fault. Look closely at this email you are offended by and you will see he did this as another harassment tactic. I am certain when you see that you will just say Eddie will be Eddie and that is a double standard. You were polite and respectful in your email to me and I have tried to return that in my email. If you choose not to vote for me or choose to vote for me that is a personal decision. Do not ever try to use your vote as a way of saying any public official owes you anything. It is really easy to sit back and condemn others instead of stepping up, filing for office and being the one who tries to help the people of Haywood County. Your whole attitude disgusts me because you do not appreciate anything the 5 of us try to do for the people of Haywood County. We spend hours and hours each week talking, listening and trying to help the people of Haywood County. You invest nothing in anyone but yourself and bloat your ego every time you bash us. You need people to shower you with attention so you can feel good about yourself and you choose to get that attention by bashing us. The next time you feel the need to criticize me look down deep inside and evaluate how you treat others. If you look inside and find your behavior has lead to your arrest or your banishment from the Republican Party clean up your mess before you try telling me what I should or should not say.

Mark Pless
Haywood County Commissioner
Sent from my iPhone

And I replied:

Commissioner Pless:

You memory has either failed you or you fell for “fake news” on “Fakebook”

While it is true that I was charged with “party disloyalty” by the Haywood County Republican Party in a shameful act that totally lacked any semblance of due process, the evidence against was ludicrous and the charge against was not upheld when tried by the NCGOP Executive Committee.

The “evidence”. Yup, that’s all there was.

Your problems with Eddie Cabe are yours to deal with.  Believe me, I have tried to convince him to moderate his tone and approach with little success.  What little success I have achieved arose from trying to reason calmly with him rather than complaining about his conduct in an open forum.  Have you tried that?

Furthermore, Eddie Cabe has not run for or been elected to public office.  You have.

I never claimed that my vote for any public official creates an obligation on their part, other than to do their job to the best of their ability.  For you to suggest that I have done otherwise is quite dishonest of you.  Fortunately you have done so in an email and not in a more public forum.

“If memory serves me correctly you have been charged with assaulting Ted Carr, trespassing and pointing a gun at someone last August.”

Those are indeed almost factual.  But they are only part of the story.  Present them in a public forum at your own peril.  Do you not believe in things like due process and innocent until proven guilty?

Ted Carr did in fact swear to a magistrate that I assaulted him – by poking him in the chest.  When the case came to trial, none of his own five witnesses confirmed that I had even touched him, and I was acquitted.

Is your support for the Second Amendment so weak that you will criticize me for legally exercising that right?

My neighbor had never banned me from his property.  I thought he wasn’t home.  I went to take a note that I planned to pin to his front porch.  He burst from the house yelling get off my property and physically assaulted me.  I took two steps back and drew my licensed carry weapon, but did not cock it or release the safety.He called the cops.  I called the cops.  He lied about having assaulted me and I told the truth, and I went to jail.  After the neighbor repeatedly failed to appear in court, the case was dismissed.  The assault charge I filed against him is still pending.

On what basis do you claim that I don’t appreciate the work of the Commission?  How would I express that to your satisfaction, by being a quiet lapdog who quietly ignores your public statements?  Do you think that if anyone dares to disagree with you, or calls you to task for your public statements of actions, that is somehow a slur against the whole Commission?  If you think I have been disrespecting the entire Commission or the work they do, you are mistaken and I invite you to show evidence.

It is very interesting that so much your response to my email consists of half truths and outright falsehoods.  Isn’t that the very thing you have complained about so loudly?

Your comments regarding my ego speak volumes.  It says quite clearly that you know nothing about me, and it says just as clearly that you are engaged in a personal vendetta.

I’ll pray for you.

Paul Yeager

I never got a reply.