by Tony Schefelbein (former undersheriff)
ElbertCounty sheriff term limits..... haven't we heard this story? Every two years the powers that be try to run this agenda again. Every two years it's defeated at the cost of the county. Is there a surplus of money that the Commissioners need to waste? So many other things they could spend the money on. This initiative has historically lost by a large margin so enough!
The saying goes that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well in Elbert County this rings true. The Sheriff was able to hand pick the commissioners that would help his agenda and help them behind the scenes in efforts to have control over this initiative and his budget. Would that ring true in quid-pro-quo?
The corruption runs deeper. The Sheriffs office runs a yearly safety fair as a fund raiser. This fund goes into an account that ECS0 controls. When the independent accounting firm audits the entire county they are not given any access to the accounting ledger on the account, but when they inquire about the accounting the ECS0 claims it's under a 501C3 account the SO currently has for their Officer Assistance Foundation. The Assistance Foundation has a governing board that approves and controls the spending of the funds raised for the Foundation but not the funds in the Safety Fair account. Furthermore, the Safety Fair money is controlled by Undersheriff Troy McCoy who is given free spending along with Victim Advocate Janet Maloney. As a side note, Undersheriff McCoy was separated of his employment with the Sheridan Police Department for an investigation of embezzlement from a similar fund.
The ECSO has continued to run their funds independently for years with the help of former County Manager Ed Ehman. Who left mysteriously for "health issues ".
ECSO has been able to acquire a fleet of military Hummers and numerous extra play toys. The latest of which is a "community race car" as and outreach program. Where is the funding coming from? Why do they need toys to protect? I would challenge the ECSO to make public their undercover accounting. I would love to see the business plan they have in place to make the toys an asset to the community and the cost involved. I know much of the cost will be swept under as donations and community partnerships but really?? There's much more to maintenance than a set of decals donated by Artworks LLC in Denver.
Lastly (for now) the Sheriff has made it a practice to allow Deputes to take ECSO vehicles home as a perk. He would try to explain this as a benefit to the County because it speeds up response times. Who is he kidding there is no documentation to support such a claim furthermore there are no policies that dictate availability of those with take home vehicles or those "special Deputies" such as investigators or SWAT members. The practice of take home vehicles is against his own written policy because this could be argued as financial gain by the Deputies. The Sheriff has allowed and encouraged this violation as per an email sent to the employees in June of 2015. Subsequently this is allowed until a Deputy falls out of grace with the Sheriff and he chooses to single out the fallen Deputy and fire them for the policy violation.
A man once told me that when people lose the battle of intellect they resort to throwing rocks. I have put out a few simple facts for the ECS0 to refute or produce the information about. I'm expecting to have rocks!!
I can imagine some my say I'm a hypocrite since I worked there for 12 years and some may say I just have an ax to grind. I thought and prayed long about these topics and I have seen regimes come and go in the county and it's time this one goes!