Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Best practices" from Florida sheriff

Much as I detest the phrase "best practices", sometimes it just fits.

We could use a little (actually, a LOT) of Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's attitude and actions around McHenry County.

At the end of June the Tampa Bay Times reported Sheriff Gualtieri's announcement of an investigation of four former deputies - three had quit in June and a fourth was fired on June 28. Read the entire article here.

Check out this powerful statement by Sheriff Gualtieri: "Misconduct will not be tolerated and we will hold accountable any member of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office who acts contrary to the law."

Ever heard a statement like that out of the mouth of a leader at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department?

Instead, what happens at MCSD is that deputies get dunked with suspensions of 30 days or less, meaning that the public never hears about it. It's only when a discipline of more than 30 days is imposed that the matter goes to the Merit Commission, which is a "public body" whose records and decisions, therefore, are open to public inspection.

So, a deputy can really blow it and incur wrath and rage but, if he was on the A-team, then he (or she) gets 30 days or less discipline or even the opportunity to resign, instead of getting fired.

If an employee of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department commits a crime, should he be able to avoid criminal charges and be allowed to resign?

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