Gadsden Alabama Unfairly Targeted by National Media in Roy Moore Sex Scandal

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Roy Moore’s Wife Kayla Not So ‘Pure’

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Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore and his wife Kayla speak during a campaign event at the Walker Springs Road Baptist Church on November 14, 2017 in Jackson, Alabama: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

By Glynn Wilson –

A national storm cascades down upon the town of Gadsden in the northeastern part of Alabama like nothing seen here perhaps since President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

A social misfit from Etowah County named Roy Moore has landed the town in the national spotlight, and not in the way town leaders anticipate when they try to recruit industry and promote Noccalula Falls as a tourist desitnation.

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Noccalula Falls in
Gadsden, Alabama: Glynn Wilson

The county seat of Gadsden get’s its name from a Cherokee word meaning “edible tree.” There used to be a large Native American village here along the Coosa River, some of them my relatives who hid in the woods and integrated into society by going to church and school in neighboring St. Clair County, where I spent some time as a youth with my grandparents on my father’s side of the family. I have camped in the Noccalula Falls Park, where the waterfall plunges 90 feet into the Black Creek ravine.

Now there are bloggers who don’t really know what they are talking about claiming it is “an insulated place” and calling it “Alabama’s Peyton Place.” But this is all very unfair to the people here, who are just like normal, working people in small towns across America. They too are somewhat divided over politics and religion and not sure where to take their stand in the ongoing national controversy.

President Trump

While President Donald Trump, who got 74 percent of the vote in Etowah County in the presidential election of 2016, has taken to Twitter and TV to voice his support for Moore by way of opposition to the Democrat in the campaign, Doug Jones, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Kushner has said there is no reason to doubt the stories of multiple women who have come forward to claim Moore sexually harassed them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

Breaking news on Monday indicates that Trump will not come to Alabama to campaign for Moore.

This is all now the subject of political advertising on television by both sides, with Moore calling Jones, a former federal prosecutor who jailed one of two members of the Ku Klux Klan for murder in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, soft on crime, and Jones calling Moore’s views too radical for Alabama that will not solve any of the state’s pressing problems.

Jones is touting his record as a prosecutor and mainstream ability to work across party lines to get things done in Washington, including addressing problems with the health care and education systems. Every person I talked to who has known Jones since his college days says he is a straight shooter who has no skeletons in his closet.

Also like many towns across the country, the disintegration of the local newspaper has taken away a key source of information that could shed light on who is telling the truth. Its loss is like losing an anchor keeping a boat centered in place. The Gadsden Times used to be owned by the New York Times company, but it was sold off to another chain in late 2011.

Now owned by Gatehouse Media, the paper has one article up on its website about the controversy, mostly summarizing the national reporting from the Washington Post, the New Yorker and the New American Journal without providing links, along with a few quotes from Moore’s memoir and focusing on the remarks of a local Republican Party official who defends Moore.

Since allegations arose against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore — a long two-and-a-half weeks ago — many people have talked about the “common knowledge” in the late 1980s that Moore pursued teenage girls while in his 30s, and while serving as an assistant district attorney in Etowah County

“It might have been said in some circles,” Roy Smith, a longtime leader in the local Republican Party, said, “but not in the ones I was in.”

The largest employer in Gadsden is the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company with 1790 workers, and they are doing what everybody else in the state and country is doing, following the story on Facebook and television news, unsure of who to believe.

Special Election

There is a special election for a key U.S. Senate seat coming up for a vote on December 12, and many people are still undecided. Some hard core believers who think religion should be a central factor in politics and government will support Moore to the bitter end. Those who don’t believe him will cast their votes for Doug Jones, even many registered Republicans who will cross over and vote for a Democrat for the first time in many years.

Considering all the confusion and conflicting reports, I have been talking to key people in the legal community in Gadsden and Montgomery, people who are familiar with court records and have known and worked with both Roy Moore and Doug Jones for many years. If the voters are going to make an informed decision on Dec. 12, someone has to go to the trouble to sort out the facts from “fake news.”

These people, Republicans and Democrats, cannot be quoted on the record because of another fact now about American life. The partisan political divide has penetrated deep into the court system, where it doesn’t belong but inevitably exists in a place where judges have to run for reelection just like any other politician in the legislative or executive branches of government. Saying the wrong thing for publication or taking the wrong side could jeopardize their own financial futures and that of their families. But there are honorable people who want the truth to come out, so they agreed to talk to me “off the record” or “on deep background.”

This is the story that emerges.

Growing up in Etowah County in the 1960s and ’70s, Roy Moore was a social misfit who didn’t have many friends his own age. After he went off to West Point, he earned the unflattering nickname “Captain America” by other military police in Vietnam for being overly gung-ho. When he returned home and attended the University of Alabama law school in Tuscaloosa, he was held in low regard by other students and professors for his “incapacity for keen analysis.” One professor nicknamed him “Fruit Salad.” But he earned his degree and passed the bar exam, then returned to Gadsden to practice law at the age of 30. At the age of 32 he got work as an assistant district attorney, yet continued to chase young high school and junior high school girls around town.

While it has previously been reported that he was “banned” from the local mall and YMCA for inappropriate behavior and pursuing sexual relationships with underage girls, further reporting indicates that “ban” may be too strong a word. We now know that he was “run off” by store managers and mall security officers first from the Pizitz store in the mall, for spending hours fondling the female lingerie and hitting on store employees. He was “run off” from the mall itself on numerous occasions, also for being “creepy” and harassing teenaged girls and female employees.

A police officer at the time, interviewed on MSNBC, said officers were tasked with “keeping an eye” on Moore at high school football games, to make sure he didn’t get into trouble with the cheerleaders.

As for the YMCA in town, while it seems Moore may have never been actually officially “banned” on paper, he creeped out not only the young women, but the men, who thought Moore was gay. It seems he liked to make a big deal out of parading around in the nude in front of everybody, including the men. This was seen as strange behavior for someone who tried to come off in public as such a pious, Christian man.

While claims are floating around about Moore’s wife Kayla being guilty of “bigamy,” since there is no record in the Alacourt online records system for a divorce, legal sources tell me the record of her divorce from John Charles Heald in 1985 is a record that has been sealed by the court, probably by Moore himself when he was circuit judge. The record showing that Moore adopted her daughter Heather is also sealed. Several lawyers, including those who handle divorces and adoptions, say it is not that unusual to have adoption records sealed since they concern the identity of a juvenile. Divorce records may also be sealed, in some cases to hide assets from snooping parties.

Divorce Records Sealed

The question is why would Moore request that Kayla’s divorce record from her first marriage be sealed?

Lawyers who know Moore say that is obvious. Moore had political ambitions and a pious outlook on life that he planned to exploit and he didn’t want snooping reporters finding out he had married a woman who was anything but “pure.” She had been pregnant at the time of her first marriage, and was a divorced woman. In some religious circles that has negative connotations. In fact, people who grew up knowing Moore’s wife say she was known to sleep around. Family members of one judge in town said he dated and bedded Kayla D. Kisor before she married Heald and then Moore.

But apparently since Moore had seen “KK” at a dance recital when she was 15, he fell in love with her and settled down to what appears to be a happy marriage ever since. She has certainly “stood by her man,” as the country song goes, since he has come under attack by the Washington Post and other national media outlets.

Roy Moore met his wife Kayla at a young girls dance recital when she was 15. He was 30. In this interview, he brags about it.

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Kayla Kisor is pictured in the same year book as one of Roy Moore’s accusers, then known as Beverly Young.

According to public documents, Kayla D. Kisor married John Charles Heald on June 5, 1982. But less than three years later, she used her maiden name again, Kayla D. Kisor, and married Roy Stewart Moore on December 9, 1985 (see records below).

Attorneys in Etowah County tell me that Moore handled the divorce, most likely pro bono, or free of charge, after convincing Kayla to leave her first husband and marry him. He claims they met at a Christmas party. Local attorneys tell me she came to him to represent her in the divorce.

She is most likely not guilty of bigamy, as the blogger indicated.

According to Alabama attorney Patrick Mahaney the crime of ‘Bigamy’ is a Class C felony, punishable by one to ten years in the state prison, a fine or both.

The Code of Alabama, 1975, section 13A-13-1, titled ‘Bigamy’ states: “(a) A person commits bigamy when he intentionally contracts or purports to contract a marriage with another person when he has a living spouse. A person who contracts a marriage outside this state, which would be bigamous if contracted in this state, commits bigamy by cohabiting in the state with the other party to such a marriage. (b) A person does not commit an offense under this section if: (1) He reasonably believes that his previous marriage is void or was dissolved by death, divorce or annulment; or (2) He and the prior spouse have been living apart for five consecutive years next prior to the subsequent marriage, during which time the prior spouse was not known by him to be alive. (3) The burden of injecting the issues under this subsection is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

The Rest of the Story

People know the rest of the story, how Moore got into trouble as a ciruit judge for displaying a hand-carved wooden plaque of the 10 Commandments from the Bible, which he still claims (inaccurately) is the moral basis for all American law. He got himself elected to the state Supreme Court in 2000, but was removed from office for failing to uphold a federal judge’s order demanding that he remove a granite monument to the 10 commandments he snuck into the court building in the middle of the night.

He tried to make a political comeback by running for governor in 2006 and 2010, but failed both times. Then in 2012, he was elected as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court once again, only to be removed from office a second time for failing to enforce a federal court order declaring same sex marriage the law of the land.

He is now trying to ascend to the U.S. Senate, and he is in a dead-heat with Doug Jones, even though national Republican leaders have asked that he withdraw from the race in light of the sexual allegations, including Senator Richard Shelby of Tuscaloosa, who has said he will write in another name rather than vote for the discredited Moore.

But those who know Moore best say he will never back down or withdraw.

“If he loses this race he will be back next year, running for something else,” one local attorney told me.

Last Day to Register to Vote

Monday was the last day for Alabamians to register to vote, and while Moore has been in hiding of late, not making public appearances, the Jones campaign says he has attended more than 140 events, traveling more than 6,000 miles across the state. They say the staff and volunteers have made more than 400,000 phone calls, just in the past month.

“The campaign has served more than 1,600 pieces of fish at fish fries throughout the state in recent weeks,” says Communications Director Sebastian Kitchen. “Roy Moore has not held a public event in 10 days.”

“Our campaign is running the largest, most active Get-Out-The-Vote program Alabama has seen in a generation,” he said. “Neighbors are talking to their neighbors in every corner of the state, sharing Doug’s message of bringing both sides together to focus on issues that matter to working families, from good paying jobs to affordable health care. As this race enters the final weeks – and Roy Moore continues hiding from voters in the wake of his ongoing scandal – our campaign’s grassroots efforts are continuing to gain incredible momentum.”

Moore Campaign Refuses Questions

Meanwhile Moore’s chief strategist, the radical right-wing conservative tea party activist Dean Young, appeared at an event in front of the old Capitol building in Montgomery a few days ago and told reporters present the campaign would not be taking any more questions.

“Y’all can quit asking us questions,” Young said.

If Moore is faced with questions from reporters, Young instructed his candidate: “Don’t answer it.”

Previously, Moore himself said, “I’m not answering any questions on issues right now.”

Moore Refuses to Debate

Moore has also refused to debate Doug Jones.

Here are some of the issues Moore is refusing to address, according to the Jones campaign.

* The multiple reports of his inappropriate and sexual behavior with young women.

* Comparing pre-school education to Nazi indoctrination.

* Moore stating he did not accept a regular salary from his foundation despite accepting more than $1 million in compensation over five years.

* Moore refusing to say whether he supports Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which 150,000 Alabama children depend on for health care.

“Roy Moore is hiding from voters because he has no good answers for his immoral, divisive and self-serving record,” Kitchen said. “He’s failed to address the reports of his inappropriate sexual behavior with young women, his shady financial relationship with his non-profit, or how his policy positions would increase health care costs and jeopardize coverage for Alabama’s children. At every turn Moore has proven to Alabamians he’d make Washington worse and is looking out for no one but himself.”

Supporting Documents

Roy Moore Marries Kayla Kisor

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Kayla Kisor Was Already Married

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John Charles Heald passed away in 2002. Kathy, his widow, got remarried in 2003 to Kayla Moore’s brother, Zack. So Kayla Moore’s ex-husband’s widow became her sister-in-law, a year after her ex-husband and the father of her oldest daughter died. In other words, Heather’s step-mom became her aunt.

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We independently verified the authenticity of both marriage licenses obtained from the Etowah County Courthouse in Gadsden: NAJ

Marriage License (PDF)

More Photos

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Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama: Facebook

© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

  3 comments for “Gadsden Alabama Unfairly Targeted by National Media in Roy Moore Sex Scandal

  1. James Rhodes
    November 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I was raised a Southern Baptist in Creek country (Elmore County) and have always been “amazed” at what they claim are “laws” of “God” i.e. a well respected associate minister who spent over 20 years ministering, at NO fee, to state prisoners, the poor, orphaned, neglected, and at women’s shelters was “ineligible” to become full pastor because he married a divorced woman… appreciate the article, brought back old memories.

  2. Mike
    November 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    If my memory serves me right, Roy Moore ran for circuit judge when he was working in the DA office but lost the election. But then was later appointed to be a judge when a seat became empty due to a sitting judge’s death. He then ran for that seat at the next election cycle and was successful. He then was pretty full of himself and put the 10 commandments plaque on his court room wall and conducted prayers in his court. Can you confirm this?

  3. November 28, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Sounds close. I wasn’t going into that much detail. Read all about it here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Moore#Circuit_Judge_.281992.E2.80.932000.29

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