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Wood County Board Chair makes statement on activist video

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A video circulating the internet is prompting Wood County officials to issue a statement.

County board chairman Lance Plimil says a group of activists appears to have been looking for a fight when they came to a county building and started filming, which included an area of the human services clinic.

He says that causes several potential issues including the potential for health and privacy violations.

“Wood County, we have open lobbies, we have open reception areas, but there are private staff areas where the general public does not get to come in and film”, said Plimil.

Plimil says it appears the group was looking for a fight the entire time.

“They’re people that go around the country doing this. They’re often highly paid. They frequently seek confrontation with public employees and then they post to various social media sites.”

Plimil says he's proud of how the employees handled the situation, especially given recent incidents of workplace violence and mass shootings.

“I think our employees acted in a responsible way. That’s exactly the way I’d like to see them act because, I think like I said, too many of these incidents may have been avoided that have occurred around the country had somebody just asked.”

Plimil says the the video has led to several harassing messages and threats to county employees from across the country.

He knows he can't control the national narrative but he at least wants local residents to know that the video appears to be a set up.

“Know that the people identified weren’t even available at the time…. Weren’t there. Some of the offices they claimed to not be able to get into were closed. It was Friday afternoon. We just wanted to clarify what went on if you happened to see that video.”

Plimil says in addition to miss identifying county employees those in the video also incorrectly state which department they were in.

The group had claimed to be from South Dakota and claimed to be administering a "first amendment audit"