The off-grid Naugler family just can’t seem to catch a break.
Last year Kentucky authorities seized 10 of Joe and Nicole Naugler’s children only to return them weeks later. Now, county health inspectors are allegedly bullying them because their cabin lacks a modern toilet.
“They’ve gone after my home and my business life,” Nicole Naugler told WDRB. “Even have gone so far to make unsubstantiated allegations to government agencies to try to intimidate us in that manner.”
The Nauglers received a letter from the county attorney threatening criminal charges because they use a self-composting toilet. The county is alleging that the couple was dumping human waste on the ground, which is a violation of the law.
“We’ve been singled out, we’re being harassed, we’re being intimidated by what they know to use most and that’s government force,” Nicole Naugler said.
The Nauglers allege that Health Department official Jeramy Hinton filed a complaint against them without coming to their property to investigate.
WDRB acquired a tape of a conversation between Hinton and Joe Naugler. Here is part of the conversation on that recording:
“What factual evidence have you acquired to investigate the claims?” Naugler asked.
“Other than the claims, I have not been on your property,” Hinton admitted.
Nicole Naugler said the toilet is “cost-effective because you’re not using the water, and it’s great for composting.”
She told WAVE, “We’ve been using it for three years. It’s maintained. It’s taken care of. It follows all the guidelines.” She added. “If there was something that we were in violation of, if there was an error that we made along the way, we have no idea how to fix it because we don’t know exactly what’s wrong.”
The Nauglers say they simply want to be left alone.
“People should be able to live as they want without the interference of other people using intimidation tactics to try to get them to conform,” Nicole said.
Joe said the situation with the state regarding their children has been fully cleared.
“We got full custody back, and as a matter of fact, the piece of paper we got from the state … CPS … all they found was that we didn’t register as home schoolers with the county school board,” he said.
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