I originally started this post with the sentence “I couldn’t be more pleased that the sheriff has stepped down and the County can now move on. However, that’s not really true. I could in fact be more pleased if I could feel assured that this wasn’t just the tip of some iceberg. And I could be more pleased if the County perhaps considered a bit more ‘tidying up’ before moving on.
There seems to have been a systemic overlooking or ignoring of the ‘sins of the sheriff’ as well as other issues for the last decade or more. Therefore instead of a post that starts with ‘How Come?’ I have to instead ask ‘Who knew what and when?’ and also ‘Why didn’t anyone do anything sooner?’ Given that the sheriff was in office for a decade one can’t help but wonder when his bullying reign of terror originated. Had he behaved like a bigot, sexist, racist, anti-Semite throughout his entire tenure? Was it tolerated when he worked for the Police or the Union? Had everyone turned a blind eye for a decade or more?
There’s an inherent problem with not uniformly enforcing laws, policies, and regulations. Was a blind eye turned to his failure to live in the County as required? Was a blind eye turned to his failure to take the oath of office? Or to secure the bond required for service?
When I first saw Fitz referred to as the ‘hold over sheriff’ it was in the context of referring to him in that manner because he shouldn’t legally be call Sheriff— given that he failed to take the Oath of Office in 2014 within 30 days of his re-election.
But I also wonder if “hold over sheriff’ doesn’t have a second connotation as in “What did he ‘hold over’ our local public servants.
Only time will tell….or perhaps it’ll remain silent. It is wise to revisit the problems of the past so that we don’t repeat them.
Hope for the dawning of a new era by probing the past—and meet me on the high road—