Bill Covington is a good man

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By The Staff

The past five years or so have been very difficult watching from the sidelines as my father's name is tarnished in newsprint and court proceedings. My father's voice was silenced allowing for no comment because of legalities. Though I can't speak on his behalf, I feel it is imperative that those in Henry County understand the positive contribution and sacrifice he brought to this small community.

Bill Covington's work day did not end when Farmer's Deposit Bank closed its doors. The phone would ring at all hours of the night with questions ranging from why the ATM was malfunctioning to explanations of why loan payments would be late. Dad would patiently listen and diligently solve each problem. Business calls were made late, waiting for clients to get home from third shift work, giving them a heads up that bills were due. We would sit down with locals who were looking to purchase their first house or car and talk them through the process. Many people in this community have my father to thank for giving them a chance, a chance that many big name banks wouldn't have.

This job consumed my father and at times made him miserable. He had an enormous amount of pressure riding on his shoulders and the abundance of stress contributed to health problems. My father wore several different hats and felt like each deserved 110 percent. Growing up, my sisters and I didn't understand the long hours, bad moods, frustration, phones ringing at all hours, and interruption of family vacations. As adults, we now understand the sacrifices he made for that bank.

My father, Bill Covington, is not a criminal. He did not benefit financially from any loan or service provided from Farmers Deposit Bank. Contrary to some reports, he did not steal money or purposely mislead this community. If he is guilty of anything, it's of being a concerned and caring person. His only goal was to make sure Henry County and its residents received good customer service. Farmers Deposit Bank lost a very devoted businessman who worked for the people not for money. Thankfully, Franklin County Public Schools took advantage of the bank's loss and gained a compassionate special education teacher who works with students with severe disabilities daily.

I am very proud to call Bill Covington my dad. As far as I'm concerned, his biggest accomplishment in life is raising three daughters to be successful, respectful and independent. Though I have caused him much anguish (which I can't apologize enough) I know that he still loves me and will support any path I choose to travel. I can't help but mention my mother, Lynn Covington, as she has been my father's biggest cheerleader. She has been the backbone for this family staying strong during every battle my father has fought. My parents are special people who gave so much to Henry County. If you take anything from this letter, let it be that Bill Covington made a positive mark on this community and is a good man.

Leslie Covington,