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Sheriff should have councilman's support

Posted: May 3, 2011 10:22 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2011 5:00 a.m.

As a concerned citizen of Kershaw County who wants and expects strong law enforcement, I am extremely disappointed in Kershaw County Councilman Sammie Tucker’s actions toward our newly elected Sheriff Jim Matthews. Not only has Councilman Tucker voted against everything our new Sheriff has requested, he has recently taken his animosity towards Sheriff Matthews to a new level by blaming him and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office as the culprit behind the necessity for the countywide pay scale. If I recall correctly, Sheriff Matthews instituted his own pay scale prior to the development of the pay scale now before County Council.

Councilman Tucker has allowed his bitterness over his defeat in the 2010 election for Sheriff to spill over regarding his actions on the County Council. The mandate in November was clear. The public elected Sheriff Matthews overwhelmingly and it is time for Councilman Tucker to man up and support strong law enforcement for Kershaw County. I applaud Sheriff Matthews for not resorting to finger-pointing and condescending name-calling against Mr. Tucker, who stepped out of line in denigrating Sheriff Matthews in a recent article in the Chronicle-Independent.

It almost seems like an ethical violation for Councilman Tucker to be making decisions on issues involving the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office. His votes could certainly harm Sheriff Matthew’s efforts of providing effective law enforcement for the citizens of Kershaw County and in turn could hurt his re-election chances. Councilman Tucker may intend to run for Sheriff in four years; his decisions on County Council regarding the Sheriff’s Office could certainly influence public attitudes on how the Sheriff’s Office is currently being operated. Councilman Tucker should excuse himself on any and all votes pertaining to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.

“Revenge politics” has guided decision-making in Kershaw County far too long. It is time our elected officials do what is best for the residents of Kershaw County and refrain from making decisions or setting policy based on animosity, bitterness and political expediency.

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