Sunday, October 26, 2014

Must Sheriff have public confidence?

Cal Skinner published a l-o-n-g outpouring by Mickey Schuch about the importance of getting out to vote. Mickey is a Woodstock businessman, a high-quality craftsman (visit his website), firearms aficionado, president of the McHenry County Right to Carry Association and strong supporter of Sheriff's candidate Bill Prim.

Mickey also had a little run-in with the Crystal Lake Police Department in November, 2000, which resulted in felony charges that were bargained down to misdemeanor pleas.

One commentor to Cal's article ("butseriouslynow" on 10/25/14 at 12:06pm) wrote, in part, "Who I feel for are the great local police officers who arrested Schuch and his gang having him paraded around in front of them by the guy who may very well be our next Sheriff in the weeks after local deputies were shot."

I believe he is referring to the recent Chiefs of Police luncheon, when retired police officer Bill Prim invited Mickey Schuch to accompany him, as he has to numerous other political and civic gathering in the run-up to the election on November 4.

What message was Bill Prim clearly sending to the police chiefs (and officers) of McHenry County by his thoughtless invitation?

What does it mean for the sheriff of a county to instill and hold the confidence of the public he serves?

This question assumes that the sheriff actually cares about that confidence, once he is in office.

Now we come to the election of November 2014. On candidate Jim Harrison's website is a tab labeled Public Confidence. I recommend that you read the writings below that tab. Here is a paragraph close to the end of it.

Public Office = Public Confidence
"The Sheriff must instill public confidence in the Sheriff’s Office from the first day in office until the last. The Sheriff must refrain from conduct that would bring disrepute on the Sheriff’s Office or that would damage public confidence. The Sheriff must be honest and trustworthy so that public confidence can deepen and grow. The Sheriff must work every day to demonstrate the highest level of integrity, leadership, and independence as an elected public official. With your help, I will be that Sheriff."

As the head of the County's law-enforcement agency, the sheriff must use good judgment in every case.
Was that decision one of good judgment?

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