As with the issue of Education, I’m not running for sheriff, but the issues of crime and drugs affect all of us, whether we are a public official or a private citizen of any age. I see the faces of meth addicts every day in this county.
It seems easier to ignore crime than to confront it. I have personally been told that felony theft of my tractor and bush hog was “a civil matter – not criminal.” I have also been personally told that a drunken invasion of my home by a mentally-disturbed neighbor is “a civil matter – not criminal.”
When a former neighbor physically assaulted me on my front porch in front of my wife, a former sheriff said he couldn’t do anything because his deputies didn’t witness it themselves. He suggested, to my amazement, that I get the guy out on a country road at night and “take him out.”
I’ve experienced a local attorney altering documentary evidence in a civil matter, removing several words in a previously published document, to claim in letters to others that I was a “mentally unstable Russian assassin.” This was a violation of both the bar association’s canon of ethics and a violation of law – yet a judge for Hickman County helped cover it up when he was required by law to report it himself. The proof is on file at the Circuit Court clerk’s office and I’ll show it to anyone who asks. That lawyer is now running for General Sessions Judge.
The Circuit Court, which covers Hickman County as well as Williamson County, hands out strict sentences to drug offenders in Williamson County but only a mild slap on the wrist to Hickman County offenders. This drives Williamson County meth labs into our county where they are repeatedly just put on probation and/or fined – and often not even that.
ANSWER: There’s little even a county commissioner can do about this. Yet you have the power, as a voter, to decide if you want to elect a judge who twists the law to protect friends and punish enemies – or if you want a judge who will apply the law fairly.
You also decide if you want a sheriff who just “goes along to get along” or if you want one who will fairly but aggressively enforce the law as written. I make no endorsement in the 5-way sheriff’s race because I don’t know anything about the challengers.
But let there be no mistake. We do need better law enforcement efforts, and the necessary funds to make it happen. We also need to get rid of officers who are drunks, druggies or who stalk young women and demand favors by virtue of a badge and a gun.