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The Bill Dibble debacle drags on


Dibble doubles down, Edwards family in shock

From Andrew Harris, 10/27/21

Early this week we reported that sitting Allegany County Legislator, William “Bill” Dibble, provided this publication with a purported letter of support for his re-election bid. That letter was submitted to us by Dibble, and we published that letter. We were alerted almost immediately after publishing it that the letter was not written by Mike Edwards, owner of Mama’s Smoking BBQ and Hot Diggity Dogs.

After speaking with Mike and his sister Tracie Edwards (The Hearing Aid Shop) who alerted us to the possible foul play, we then published “Unpacking Bill Dibble’s Political Skulduggery.” Mr. Dibble didn’t not respond to our questions by telephone or email, and still hasn’t.

Today, Mr. Dibble submitted the following letter to the Wellsville Sun, prefaced with this statement:

Attached is my note that I gave Tracy Edwards yesterday. Also was at Verizon in Olean yesterday. For some unknown reason, I could not use my cell phone. Verizon fixed the problem. As you may know, I have no coverage at home. Headed out to Olean.”

After Mr. Dibble sent this second letter to us, we contacted Tracie Edwards to discuss. According to her, Mr. Dibble arrived at her place of business to confront her and deliver this letter. “He walked in the door in a very aggressive manner, myself and my staff were uncomfortable to say the least.”

Upon reading the letter Tracie was in shock and simply told Dibble that this was not true and it was wrong of him to first take advantage of her brother and his stature as a business owner. As Dibble continued to insist and explain that her brother Mike was the party being untruthful, Tracie asked him to leave her business. Dibble obliged but reportedly left the small business owner and staff slightly shaken. Because of the encounter, Tracie called the local police just to let them know what had happened. It isn’t everyday you have to keep someone out of a hearing aid store.

“Our family just lost our mother, we are not political people, we are business people. We didn’t deserve to have this dumped on our laps and we really would like Mr. Dibble to retract the letter, get it off Facebook, and move on. For an elected official, trying to get re-elected, to inject himself uninvited into my and my brother’s small businesses is hard to understand.”

We reached out to Mike Edwards for a reaction to Dibble’s written claim that Edwards is the party guilty of hornswoggling. To the claim that Dibble visited Edwards at his restaurant, sat down at a table and mutually agreed on the letter which initiated this whole mess:

“I didn’t write the letter. I never saw the letter, I didn’t okay the letter. I’ve had nothing to do with this letter or its contents.”

Edwards made it clear that he is not interested in further comment.

Let’s recap this wild story: Sitting legislator William Dibble submitted a letter to the editor supposedly from Mike Edwards and providing a glowing endorsement for Dibble’s bid to be re-elected to serve District 3. We printed that letter and shortly after received an email from Tracie Edwards, Mike’s sister, informing us that the letter was counterfeit and Mike did not write or approve that letter.

A phone call to Dibble was brief and he didn’t relay any comments of substance, but instead promised to get back in touch soon. A phone call to Mike Edwards confirmed that although the signature affixed to the letter was his, he did not write, authorize, or ever see the letter. This created new questions about how Dibble obtained Edwards’ signature.

An email from the Wellsville Sun to Dibble requesting clarification went without reply. Finally this morning a reply came from Dibble but in the form of a letter to Tracie Edwards, as seen above. Dibble imposed himself on Tracie at her business to deliver the letter and did so in a manner that she perceived as belligerent and intimidating.

Ms. Edwards demanded he leave the premises and she then contacted police to report the incident. Again Mike Edwards provided a clear statement that he didn’t write, sign, or see this letter. It appears that not only did Dibble conjure up this fake letter of support, but he refuses to admit to that wrongdoing despite direct contradictions by the Edwards family.

The Edwards family has stated their position and are clearly disappointed in how this elected official has treated them. Bill Dibble has now submitted two documents to this publication that both appear to contain false statements.

Mr. Dibble, we offer you yet another opportunity to provide this publication – for the record – an explanation of your actions and the circumstances surrounding the letter you submitted to us by email on October 5, 2021 titled, “Mike Edwards-Mama’s Smokin BBQ – Support Ltr for Legislator Dibble?”

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