This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal
opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I
will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change,
depending upon my awareness and understanding of changes in factual
information. It is my intent to remain focused on specific public issues,
regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are
saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
Changes may be requested by e-mailing the details to email@example.com
Earlier, I intended to write a short history of what I consider Sheriff Gary Maddox's reign of incompetence, corruption and deceit, that has victimized this community, and individuals run afoul of his corrupt regime, and reign. Following that, it was my intent to associate some of that behavior with members of his department, past and present, running, this year, for the political office of Schoolcraft County Sheriff. After some deliberation I concluded that effort would be wasted upon those that already know, and do not care, and those that do not know, and do not care; which covers about 99% of the county population.
The other 1% are encouraged to do their own research.
From my view, concerning ""Opie" Maddox for Sheriff", he is his father's immature son, "trained" by his father, subject to his father's influence, at ease with the status quo of that which he is, and was part of, and, likely, his father's hand picked successor. I am quite sure there are those in the community who consider him to represent the best interests of the "comfort level" of the sheriff department staff, but, as part of the current sheriff department problems, I do not want "Opie" to ensure more of the same. Given the history of the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, over the past two decades, there has been far too much "comfort" between the sheriff and his subordinates.
As for a retired-fired-convicted-sex-offender-deputy-sheriff running for office, one who represents much of what still ails the sheriff department; he may be your choice, but he is not mine. (It is an indictment of the community that one with his credentials would have any reason to consider that he might be elected for sheriff, but, if the mayor of Manistique thinks a convicted sex offender on the zoning board is "in the best interests of the city", then a convicted sex offender for sheriff must be acceptable, also.)
Grant Harris is the only one running for sheriff who has little to no association with the historical problems within the sheriff department. From my relatively ignorant perspective:
He handled well, a run-in I had with an overzealous prison guard. As far as I know, he has substantial experience supervising armed personnel "with the power of God". He worked in the state prison at Manistique, in a skilled supervisory position, i.a.w. the state requirement that he understand the necessity of, and enforcement of, discipline and procedure. As far as I know, he has shown me an ability to admit an error of judgment, regarding school board related business.
Most importantly, I never had reason to believe that Grant Harris tried to flatter me, or lie to me; perceived by me to represent Sheriff Maddox's primary skills as what I understand to be a corrupted local politician, responsible for a great deal more than that which benefited the general public.
As far as I know, assuming Harris gets the community's support, and the support of those for whom Maddox did far more than shake hands, Grant has far more potential, than the other candidates, to be a competent sheriff and a greater asset to the community than he is, already.
As far as I know, Grant Harris has no skeletons hidden in the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department. I am aware of no deals to cover his incompetence, that can be used to manipulate him, by those inside and outside of the sheriff department. He has far better professional qualifications than any other candidate. For more details read the May 15 edition of the Pioneer Tribune.
The only problem I foresee is his lack of experience shaking hands, kissing babies, and doing favors for others; all at public expense. Hopefully, he will be elected, based on job related merit and skills, and not shunned because his lack of shallow or corrupt behavior.
To reverse the standard-for-incompetence image of the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, more of the same is not required. From my perspective, it needs a qualified and experienced manager, with meaningful law enforcement credentials and experience, and sufficient integrity and ethics to make the required decisions, unfettered by a corrupt relationship with current department personnel and various county and city officials.
I have no reason to believe that the other "Tooth Fairy" candidates qualify, including Mike Gray (Jr.) as "Opie Maddox"'s under-sheriff, if for no other reason than, at minimum, both were willing to be part of the problems, by their default silent acceptance of the status quo, in exchange for a secure paycheck. Sheriff Mike Gray's (Sr.) legacy is one I care not to see repeated.
I hope to meet Schoolcraft County Sheriff Harris, next November. ...and if he never becomes the deceiving-insincere-politician-cum -incompetent-sheriff, that I perceive today, I will be happy with my choice.
Incidentally, if anyone knows a recent "long term" or repeat inmate of the county jail; one who is willing to relate, to me, candidly, his or her experiences, and has the courage to be heard in public, I would like to speak to a few. I know one repeat "offender" who has been reduced from an easily influenced exuberant young man to a fearful, depressed, trembling jelly-fish of a premature "ol' geezer", by time and numerous experiences in the local slammer, and a trip to the Marquette state prison. He does not have the courage to speak of his local jail experiences because of his fear of being vulnerable to future "retribution".
Jail and prison is no picnic, and shouldn't be, but it should be no worse than that required by law. The Schoolcraft County jail suicides over the last few years, my witness of many public meetings concerning sheriff department business, my 911 committee experiences, and the credible rumors I have heard, over the years, from folk I am inclined to believe, make the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, from my perspective, a monument to incompetence, fiscal irresponsibility, foolishness, corruption, exploitation, torment, and torture.
I read, in the 07/03/08 edition of the Manistique newspaper, Pioneer Tribune, that recently retired deputy sheriff, Jerry Jack, threw his hat in the ring for Schoolcraft County Sheriff. It was reported that Jack cited his "...many years of experience dealing with "everyday running of the jail," including scheduling all shifts, prisoner transportation, and duty as an officer on road patrols, snowmobile patrols and search and rescue operations. Jack said his "experience and knowledge of the many changes that need to be done at the jail for the community it serves" makes him the most qualified candidate."
I understand his qualifications include the skill and knowledge to milk the county taxpayers for a great retirement check, by sleeping on the job in an empty cell, while collecting overtime. I have reasons to believe that, for his pay-grade, he set a county record for establishing the highest 3 years of pay on which his retirement was computed, and, on more than one occasion, was paid for a 24 hour shift that included sleeping, driving, and carrying a gun with the right to use it.
Of all the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meetings I attended, I do not remember him, or any other employee of the department, attending a board meeting to explain the many needed changes at the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department. I do remember him attending one to question the retirement benefits of others that he considered to his detriment. I never heard him claim any credit for the operational procedures of the jail that led to three inmate suicides. I never heard him claim responsibility for inmates leaving and entering the "secure" facilities with the code for the side entrance security lock. I never heard him claim credit for the outrageous overtime bills incurred by Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department personnel, or the years of vacillation over jail-house meals issues.
I do understand that his recent qualifications were acquired after he retired, since I have never heard of them, or witnessed them at many public meetings I have attended. Since, from my perspective, the current sheriff, Gary Maddox is far more well known for his politics, rumored sexual escapades, and general shirking at taxpayers' expense, than running the jail in a professional manner, I conclude that candidate Jack is quoted correctly by the newspaper regarding his "...experience dealing with "everyday running of the jail, the one who ran the department, for years.", and his subsequent knowledge, and silence, about the many changes needed. It is my understanding he slept along side those required changes, and remained silent, until his new-found supernatural conversion to an outspoken caring "ex-lawman-wannabe-sheriff" who offers me nothing but the stripes of his silent accommodation of all that he implies is wrong, but has never voiced, in detail.
Jack, like the other candidates from the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, sanctioned, and was part of, a sheriff department beholden to no one that took and spent public money, as a right of position.
No doubt, he has done favors for many and is considered, by some, the salt of the Earth. To me, like the other department candidates, he has little more integrity and ethics than a common confidence man, having traded what little he had for a lucrative retirement.
I do not want more of the same Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department leadership, or qualifications.
Regarding the primary election, yesterday, for a partisan candidate for Schoolcraft County Sheriff, these are the results:
Grant Harris 800
Robert Popour 154
~20% of voters considered a convicted sex offender would make a suitable sheriff. Apparently, ~80%, for whatever reasons, disagreed. What that vote says, to me, is that 1 out of 5 of my neighbours considers the sexual victimization of a minor by a public law enforcement official as acceptable behaviour. Scary stuff, if you understand cause and effect, regarding a county sheriff with the responsibility to enforce the laws of the land. The 4 out of 5 nurture that hope that springs eternal, barely, within my breast.
For the recent primary election, the US-2 billboard states "Paid for by the committee to Elect Maddox Sheriff", ostensibly to promote the primary election of Democratic sheriff candidate, "Opie" Maddox, against whom no other Democratic candidate was running! It is truly scary, to me, to think about the intellect, and motivation of the Maddox supporters responsible for the sign. As much as I may value, to a great extent, Democratic Party progressive ideals, I find little to no representation of those ideals by any Schoolcraft County Sheriff candidate from within Schoolcraft County's sheriff department.
Old election signs used by the current sheriff, Gary Maddox, were used by his son, and-or supporters, to promote "Opie's" new candidacy, with a "Keep Maddox Sheriff". Weeks later, the signs were changed, with tape, to "Keep A Maddox Sheriff". When the time comes, I hope to "Keep Grant Harris Sheriff", but I can hardly do that if Grant Harris is not elected, yet.
Without considering the spirit of the law, that discourages the misrepresentations of a political candidate, I was inclined to wonder which Maddox was promoted by the signs. It had occurred to me that "A" Maddox, could be Michelle Maddox, or that fabled philanderer and trapper, Gary Maddox, or a fictitious pervert, "Willie Maddox", also, just as likely, Opie's grandma, "Momma Maddox", who had done so well on the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department's payroll.
I do not know how many Maddox's live in Schoolcraft County and have thrown their hats into the ring. As for da guy, in da suit, pictured on da billboard, I don't recognize him. I do not recollect seeing him, in or out of uniform, at any public meeting or gathering, with, or without, anything of consequence to say. I was told that he was at the recent Cooks Corn Roast, roasting corn, as I was talking photographs while noting his big smilin' daddy circulating in the crowd, paving the way for his kid to follow in his footsteps of political and "easy money" ambitions.
I hope that I will know, for sure, by November.
Today, from 10:30AM to 4:30PM, I attended a seminar, in Marquette, concerning municipal law. Several Michigan Association of Counties sponsored lawyers, from the law firm of Cummings, Davis, & Acho, P.L.C., spoke about and fielded questions, concerning topics within their areas of specific expertise. The major topics considered were:
Legal Updates in Municipal Law
FOIA/Open Meetings Act
Prison Litigation Reform and Your Jail Policy
Human Resources Concerns From Hire/Fire to Retire
The only public officials or employees of Schoolcraft County and Manistique, attending the meeting, were current Schoolcraft County Sheriff, Gary Maddox, and his son, Wannabe Sheriff, David "Opie" Maddox. After picking up his freebie seminar texts and note book, Sheriff Maddox disappeared; to show up again for the paid lunch, after which he disappeared, again, for the remainder of the day. For all intents and purposes, no public value, at public expense, was derived from his absence at the meeting.
Wannabe Sheriff, "Opie" Maddox, attended most of the meeting, but around 3PM, 1 1/2 hours before the seminar was over, he left permanently. He chose to leave during the prison and jail related presentation, thus, among other subjects he missed, were some of the recent legal aspects of taser use, his claimed area of expertise. He never asked a question of any of the expensive and well educated legal beagles that solicited questions throughout the seminar, and remained the inconspicuous shadow of his father, at the rear of the class.
Needless to say, I suspect both "lawmen" will be paid their respective wages and salary, along with travel and meals expenses. (to be verified, after the next county board audit and finance meeting, next week)
Today, I checked some of the last vouchers that had been paid by the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners.
For the municipal law seminar presentation of 09/05/08, that ran from 10:30AM to 4:30PM, Schoolcraft County Sheriff Gary Maddox was absent. For the seminar he did not attend, he claimed, and was paid, $115.83 travel expenses, and $65 for a room at the Ramada Inn, in Marquette, so that he could collect a free note book and meal, as he pursued whatever personal agenda he had, at public expense. I noted no claims for meals
Beyond the fact that a hotel room could be taken, at public expense, there was nothing apparent to me that prevented those stalwart lawmen from driving to Marquette, before the seminar, and driving back after the seminar, on the same day, as I did. Given the shirking that was evident to me, at the seminar, and the history of extensive sheriff department overtime, I am prompted to wonder about the full cost to the taxpayers of the Maddox family outing.
I view Dave "Opie" Maddox, as an hourly wage employee, relatively low in the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department hierarchy that has outlandish overtime claims. I am prompted to wonder why he did not file travel and lodging claims while he was goofing with dad, as those more qualified than he, that might have attended the seminar, helped keep Schoolcraft County safe from bad folk. Maybe he did not wish to be associated with creating more overtime, as he and dad rooted in the public trough, knowing full and well that only one sheriff department official, further up the food chain, and not ready to retire, needed to attend the seminar.
While checking the Schoolcraft County Jail and Sheriff Department vouchers, I found a paid bill of $350 for 100, $5 prepaid phone cards, that immediately prompted me to ask myself, "Who gets the $150 profit on the phone cards, how many are sold each year, and what do the users (prisoners?) get, for $5, in terms of telephone use time?". Jail time is not supposed to be pleasant, but prisoners should not be the victims of quick buck artists, or be servants of the jailors, and neither should the taxpaying public.
As I have said for years, from my perspective, there is a serious stink coming from the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, and it is not the patched sewer line. I can only conclude, again, that the spirit of "the law" means little to nothing to many Schoolcraft County public officials and employees, if it does not advance their personal benefit or political agendas.
From my perspective, consistent with the public record, Dave "Opie" Maddox is his father's son, happy to remain silent about that which separates parasites from ethical leaders, while he roots in the public trough, with "dad", for whatever might benefit him; with no evident concern about the value to the average schmuck who pays his way.
My previous attempt to promote change in the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, and some of the reasons why I want meaningful change.
The following is an endorsement by Michigan Democratic State Representative, Bart Stupak, published on the back page of the 09/18/08 edition of Manistique's local newspaper, the Pioneer Tribune. The add is associated with a "Committee to Elect David L. Maddox". There is no doubt about which Maddox, this time!
Michigan State Democratic Representative, Bart Stupak, representing a party that professes roots in progressive political theory, endorses a candidate that is a source of the problems within the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department. For reasons obvious to all that will think, or give consideration to the public record of which I have written, Stupak has endorsed a candidate that is associated with three small town jail suicides, blatant nepotism, fraudulent overtime, victimizing inmates, and his silent accommodation of all the other facets of the stinking mess in the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department.
I view Mr. Stupak's public endorsement of "David L. Maddox" as a regrettable consequence of a request by Schoolcraft County Democratic Party officials, that sought his endorsement with a request worthy of any confidence artist. I suspect that Bart Stupak "knows" next to nothing about "Opie" Maddox, beyond what party hacks told him, and, consequentially, in his ignorance and unjustified faith in others, he has endorsed a man for Schoolcraft County Sheriff who has accepted and been silent about all that is wrong within the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department.
Assuming there are cause-and-effect links to real world phenomenon, Bart Stupak has endorsed all that ails the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, and, concurrently, pursued his version of Hatch Act reform, proposed and sought by others, designed to limit that human self serving predatory impulse to render impotent the last serious competition to U.P. demagogues that control and redistribute public wealth, and power, for personal and political gain. Like everyone else, Bart has streaks in his shorts, and it will be interesting to see if he chooses to admit his error of judgement and address the issues from a rational and progressive perspective, instead of the predatory point of view of those that sought his help.
I can only hope that Schoolcraft County residents will vote according to the issues, and candidate merits, rather than vote their blind allegiance to predatory party con artists, and those whom they support, fool, or control.
During the Schoolcraft County Audit and Finance meeting last night, my public comments were as quoted:
"It came to my attention, in the last few days, that, at the Schoolcraft County Audit and Finance meeting of 08/14/08, Schoolcraft County Sheriff Gary Maddox asked about a voucher he submitted for a training session he conducted in Marquette. After a brief discussion, commissioners indicated that both vouchers he submitted would be paid.
This evening, I ask the sitting Audit and Finance committee why they paid Maddox's vouchers for his private business, because it is my understanding that giving Public Act 302 money, for private business purposes, is unlawful. I understand that Sheriff Maddox justified his claim of 302 money reimbursement as any professional confidence artist would, and you, as the marks of a grifter, believed him.
To me, the plain language of Public Act 302 leaves no doubt that funds are to help defray the costs for official training received by public agency personnel, not to subsidize Sheriff Maddox giving unofficial training as part of his private teaching business with whomever. I would like to know how much he has collected, unlawfully, over the years, by claiming that which I have no reason to believe he has a right to.
If my basic understanding of the events are incorrect, please set me straight with verifiable references from someone that has a 12th grade understanding of the English language and doesn't imagine legislation as it suits them. There is always the possibility that I missed something in my reading and comprehension of Public Act 302.
Regarding another subject, the broken alcoholic that runs Schoolcraft County Public Transit, I hear via the grapevine that some of you are less than enthused with Commissioner Aldrich's and Arnold's adopted wayward child. I wish to let those that know Director Swanson's public business, hidden behind false privacy concerns, that I will be more than happy to discuss the merits of his ways, in public, if you are not afraid to make public, public business. Allowing that wretch to intimidate you with his alcoholic's false bravado, heard by members of the public through a closed door, does nothing more than paint you as cowards. There is no law that compels Schoolcraft County to retain an out of control alcoholic, given the public record, alone.
Their is no doubt in my mind why H.B.H. Director, Sam Harma, severed his cozy relationship with Kevin Swanson; he knew that he could not afford the professional liability of the impaired judgement of a business associate addicted to alcohol. I find it hard to believe that MMRMA covers Swanson, with full knowledge of how broken he is, and has been. I suspect that if a claim was too high for MMRMA to look the other way, they would hold the administrators of Schoolcraft County liable for dereliction of duty, and I, for one, would be more than happy to testify to that fact, in detail."
Note: 10/01/08. It has been brought to my attention there are those that have failed to understand that there is appropriate public transportation business between public transit and mental health organizations, such as transporting mental health clients, and inappropriate cozy "private" public business, such as a conspiracy to hide the details for the false basis to deny the right to work of an AFSCME county public transit driver. Other "cozy relationship" business, as the arbitrary employment termination of a union member public employee might include, among rumored questionable public transit and mental health business, the double book accounting of and manipulation of public transit funds to allow, among other things, purchase of alcoholic beverages, purchase of political ads, and providing a mental health organization the use of public transit funds to claim 9:1 mental health matching funds from the state. Whether any form of the aforementioned imagined business has taken place in Schoolcraft County, I do not know. It is, at this time, nothing but the product of my overheated speculative imagination to illustrate the very obvious "security" problems of an influential member of the community that had a cozy business relationship with a practicing alcoholic public transit director. Regarding broken public business that I do know of, it has been encouraged by various broken county board members, and broken oversight committees and boards, with broken appointed members that meet the broken vetting standards of those broken county board members that appointed them. If the security of my influential reputation and lucrative career depended on a broken down alcoholic to keep his mouth shut, and fly right, regarding any business we had - or if the security of my influential reputation and lucrative career depended on a broken county board that approved of and supported an incompetent "working" drunk with whom I had to conduct business in the public transit sector - then I would have two choices; sever my relationship concerning everything other than "straight arrow" public business, and hope for the best - or plant the alcohol junkie in the Strangmoor Bog. I would take the former choice, first, and leave the latter option open. For those that still haven't connected the dots, the same broken people are responsible for promoting the broken sheriff department, and broken public transit, along with the respective supervision, and most of the other broken public business of the community. They perceive broken public business to be in their best personal interests; consistent with predatory human nature. That is why Representative Bart Stupak has been petitioned to modify the Hatch Act - to help ensure their "right" to control and manipulate future broken public business and appointees. Without enforcement of the Hatch Act, those whose income and quality of life does not depend on public money, or those that are willing to risk their degree of dependance on public money, will have less opportunity to hold elected or appointed public office, to promote ethical public business, and hold accountable public funded predators and incompetents. Also, those public employees with no interest in public office, and are paid with public funds, will be less inclined to expose wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it, for fear of arousing the destructive retribution of those that control distribution of public wealth and employment based upon political allegiance. Ex-Schoolcraft County Commissioner Doug Erickson, and Schoolcraft County Public Transit driver Ron Risdon are classic examples of the victims of the misuse of political power to punish opposition, by public employees, to the broken business of Schoolcraft County Public Transit, and those that promote such business. Schoolcraft County Public Transit Director Kevin Swanson, and Schoolcraft County Sheriff Gary Maddox, are classic examples of the consequences of the abuse of partisan political power to protect and promote those broken beyond repair. Enforcing the provisions of the Hatch Act, among other legislation and regulative policies, is necessary to limit or curb the abuse of partisan office by the likes of Commissioner Aldrich, and Sheriff Maddox, and those electors that would eat their neighbours for lunch, given the opportunity to elect those that support and advocate such activity.
As you might guess, there was no response from anyone, except Commissioner Aldrich. He denied his and Arnold's (and, implied, deceased Commissioner Frenette's) role in creating Schoolcraft County's other mascot of incompetence, deceit and fraud, that Dipsomaniac Director of Schoolcraft County Public Transit, Kevin Swanson. Aldrich also tried to cop a plea that the situation was a delicate legal one, but failed to acknowledge the fact that it was he and his pals that sanctioned Swanson's public business activities, that should be a matter of public record, instead of hidden behind false privacy concerns. They let him run the public business of Schoolcraft County Public Transit like an outlaw, and deliberately hid and denied corroborated details of that public business from the general public, thereby empowering their alcoholic monster by giving him their implicit and explicit permission to act as one, as I have witnessed and documented. Even a college graduate should be able to understand that if you don't give Frankenstein power, and direct, sanction, forgive or hide his subsequent activities, there is nothing to fear.
Considering the unethical-borderline-criminal manner in which AFSCME union member Ron Risdon was denied the right to work, for no objective reason, the public record of Swanson's gross incompetence, violations of county policy, and violation of state law should make it a no-brainer to fire him, today, assuming that I, and others, didn't hallucinate half of what we have witnessed, regarding public business.
As the Schoolcraft County Sheriff's race heats up, some talk becomes cheaper, as each day passes. Today, I found this on the index page of Dave Maddox's web site, promoting his candidacy for Schoolcraft County Sheriff:
"The Only Candidate Endorsed by Marquette County Sheriff
Clicking on the link, I found nothing but a synopsis of the Marquette Sheriff's responsibilities. Clicking on the Bart Stupak "endorsement" link provided nothing more than a promotional web site for Stupak. Apparently, the reader is left to imagine whether the endorsements exist and where they might be found.
Regarding claimed responsibilities of Sheriff Gary "Daddy" Maddox, Under sheriff Mike Gray, and candidates Jerry Jack, and Bob Popour, I find it hard to believe that Dave "Opie" Maddox had much more than the authority and responsibility to wipe his butt, while in uniform, consistent with his pay grade and position. It may sound ugly, but my only conclusion is that Jr. Maddox's experience and credentials, to meet the responsibilities of the next Schoolcraft County Sheriff, will be those learned on the job, by the time he is ready to retire; if he doesn't walk in his Ol' Man's tracks and find other pursuits for company time.
I've had enough of paying for ignorant and unskilled employees and candidates, little more than callow high school graduates, that cost the community their wages or salary and the consequences of their lack of knowledge, skills, talent, supervision, and accountability. Regarding the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department, that means jail operation and on-the-job-training negligence blunders, starting off with the recent deaths of three inmates, in three separate incidents. Sheriff "stuff" is a lot more than cruising back roads and trails hoping to find a criminal.
To the best of my knowledge, for those deaths, and a host of outlaw behaviour, everyone keeps their job, paycheck, pay grade, retirement, etc., and can claim "It ain't my fault that your son, daughter, friend, etc. was abused or died in our custody, as we enjoyed the good life with taxpayer and inmate money!"
Of all those that support, promote, and accept Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department inmate deaths, and the attendant torment, patronage, nepotism, shirking, malingering and profiting, I ain't one. I hope that other Schoolcraft County residents will not vote for Maddox's promoted "comfort level" with the personnel responsible for the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department's corrupted policies, operation, and reputation. I hope voters understand the cause-and-effect of absent or incompetent supervision and vote for a well educated, qualified and experienced manager to run the department in a professional manner and to keep known parasites under control and at bay.
Schoolcraft County is a traditional bastion of Democratic Party rule, where accountability has been, for 20 years that I know of, too often of no concern to "anyone of consequence". If Harris turns out to be a bum, in 4 years it will be easy to "throw the bum out" and elect the bum of your choice. It makes a lot more sense than electing "Son of Bum", and being hung with him for the next 20 years.
This November, you can choose more-of-the-same, or not. The choice should not be about blind party politics, loyalty, greed, and the spoils of a political contest. It should be about the objective merits of individual candidates, regarding civilized law enforcement and management of the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department and Jail. From my perspective, it is about daddy's malleable, inexperienced son, comfortable with the corrupted policies and environment created by his father, vs a mature and independent law enforcement management professional, with the credentials, experience, grit, desire, and ability to change an outlaw backwoods operation into a worthy and professionally run public safety organization.
For those that want to understand the difference between a sheriff with qualifications and credentials, and a country boy wannabe, sponsored by his broken good-ol'-boy daddy, compare the two listed web sites, and note the difference between the objective business credentials presentation of a professional lawman, and the hobby, social, and fraternal fluff of a wannabe, presented in a format that looks like transparent, empty, patriotic "eye candy" from an average high school student.
Compared to David L. Maddox, Grant Harris has a lot more than juvenile puffery for credentials, relevant to the responsibilities of a sheriff to administer the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department and Jail, and supervise, train, and hold accountable other department personnel. If Harris cannot attain or retain the office of sheriff by merit, later he can learn to shake hands, kiss babies, and deceive electors, but I doubt those skills will be necessary.
I do not expect perfection, and I have no reason to believe that there is anyone else more qualified to be a responsible sheriff, and get the job done without caving in to the public and back room heat that comes with the position. If he turns out to be a bum, I will be at the head of the line to vote him out, 4 years from now.
Master of Public Administration
Graduated Certified Police Academy
Over 30 years of criminal justice experience, including:
Michigan Department of Corrections Officer for the past 20 years.
15 years of that as a supervisor.
Manistique Public Safety Officer
Juvenile Probation Officer
Sault Police Department Patrolman
DeTour Village Marshall
I attended the local candidate forum of 10/13/08, at the Manistique High School. The forum was broadcast by two local radio stations, and was sponsored by the Manistique Ministerial Association. The auditorium was almost empty, with some 30 individuals attending, half of those being relatives and close friends of the candidates.
I attended the forum to witness the procedure and the candidates' physical and emotional demeanor during the question and answer process.
Among the few comments that I have regarding the forum process was candidate Maddox's dazzling bullshit performance. For a candidate, butt deep in sheriff department alligators of his and his buddies making, I was amazed at how confident he was as he fielded subjects directly related to that which is of public record.
From my perspective, David Maddox has shown me little in terms of public communications skills regarding his past and current sheriff department responsibilities, and his web site is a testimony to juvenile aspirations. In that context, I wonder if he knew what the questions were, and was coached on how to respond, with reference material he consulted on stage!
From what I witnessed, for a bent and talentless nobody, his performance was stellar! Maybe he is the Saviour of the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department's theater of the absurd!
The other sheriff candidates responded as I expected, and I thank candidate Harris, in particular, for what I perceived to be relatively candid and objective responses to the questions asked of him, in the context of other candidates' too often vague, evasive, and irrelevant responses. As the first chosen to answer many, if not most of the questions, he set a standard of relevancy that no other candidate approached, with or without a cheat sheet.
At that same candidate forum, I heard Schoolcraft County Commissioner Keith Aldrich state that if anyone in Schoolcraft County knew what was going on, it was he, since he has been part of Schoolcraft County government for some 20 years, and been a member of just about every board and committee in existence, during that period.
Given the knowledgeable and fine upstanding candidate he claims to be, I find it more than a touch ironic that the same fine fellow approved years of false voucher claims by the current sheriff, and to the best of my knowledge intends to do nothing about it, beyond burying that public business as the deceitful, unethical, and fiscally irresponsible politician I have witnessed over the years. I do note the rumor that, when Maddox requested ~$1,000 to hob-nob with his buddies at a downstate sheriff meeting, a few months before he retires, his request was denied. Probably just another unsubstantiated rumor concerning unpublished public business...
If true, does the recent voucher denial rumor mean that, after 20 years, Aldrich learned something, beyond how to milk the M.E.R.S. retirement system, do favors for his extended family and political allies, spend other peoples' money and co-opt the accomplishments and credit of others, as any parasite might? Was the voucher denial a consequence of "new blood" on the county board?
I cannot remember any substantial piece of positive political business, that I am aware of, that was born of his claimed political prowess and expansive knowledge. I am aware of several substantial accomplishments of others that he and his cronies took credit for, including a $400,000+ Brownfield grant generated by ex-commissioner Ericksons' attention to public business, the spending of which gave Mr. Aldrich bragging rights at the candidates forum.
As a matter of my witness to a fair amount of county business over the years, I concluded, years ago, that he is a classic vacillating milquetoast who lives in continuous fear of being responsible for making an independent, ethical, and informed decision.
Today, I read the Schoolcraft County Sheriff candidates question and answer article in the 10/30/08 edition of the weekly Pioneer Tribune newspaper. After reading the questions, and considering the answers given, once again, as in the candidates forum, the answers from Grant Harris were the most relevant and objective.
Specifically, what was most interesting to me, was the manner in which several candidates from the sheriff department blamed the aging and neglected facility for the supervisory, training, policy, and negligence problems of the staff! Add to that the claim by David "Opie" Maddox, that "...Sheriff Maddox did a great job with the budget he was allowed..." makes me wonder why the hideous record of the Schoolcraft County Sheriff's Department doesn't have more suicides, sexual predators, false vouchers, escapes, unnecessary overtime, and assorted corrupt behaviour, since, as far as Opie is concerned, daddy did a great job!
I understood the implication of Opie's words as the lack of money from tightwad commissioners was responsible for his father's unspoken failures, and if no more money was forthcoming, future Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department failures would be their fault, also. It is ludicrous that a deputy sheriff suggests, that the "...The budget he (Daddy Maddox) was allowed...", including Public Act 302 funds for personnel training, was the cause of sheriff department personnel related failures.
His own words indicate that it is David L. Maddox's righteous professional opinion that his professional failures, and those of other sheriff department personnel, will result from insufficient funds, and not from any failure of his, his father, or any department employee.
I can only hope that the majority of voters understand the gravity of what is represented by the Maddox father and son team, promising more of the same.
This afternoon, my attention was drawn to the following, published in the 11/03/08 edition of the Advisor.
To The Voters of Schoolcraft County I find the last minute negative campaign strategy of one of the candidates for Schoolcraft County Sheriff to be disappointing. This candidate has decided to take the low road and provide false and misleading information in an effort to win this office at any cost. All of the other candidates for Sheriff had waged positive, hard fought, and truthful campaigns. I would like to thank them. Maddox and Gray have ran a campaign based on our record and our experience. We do not engage in character attacks or provide false and misleading information. If elected, we pledge to run an administration that reflects our campaign standards of honesty, openness, and factual information. This campaign season has been long, and voters have been inundated with information and literature. We appreciate you patience, time, and diligence in filtering this information. Feel free to contact me any time (906-286-2550) if you ever have any questions. We would like to thank you for your confidence and support. Sincerely, David L. Maddox Paid for by the Committee to Elect David L. Maddox Sheriff
David L. Maddox must have confused himself with David L. Maddox, because there is little to no doubt in my mind, based upon what I have witnessed, heard, and read, that the candidate that engaged in evading questions, and provided irrelevant and misleading information was David L., himself. Read Maddox's answers to the questions asked him, in the latest issue of the Pioneer Tribune, and, keeping in mind the questions, determine the candidate who is the least honest, open, and factual, and, therefore, the most obvious bullshit artist.
Perhaps, the words of the man I listened to at the candidate forum, and read in the latest issue of the Pioneer Tribune, may have been spoken and written by David L. Maddox's twin brother?
Regarding the character of a law enforcement official, it is difficult to attack if it is not evident...
Schoolcraft County 11/04/08 Sheriff election results:
Grant S. Harris Rep 2030 47.09%
David Maddox Dem 1068 24.77%
Gregory E. Haley 30 0.70%
W. John Norrington 512 11.88%
Jerry Jack 668 15.50%
Write-in Votes 3 0.07%
Schoolcraft County 11/04/08 District 3 County Commissioner election results:
Keith P. Aldrich Rep 484 48.55%
Allen Grimm Dem 511 51.25%
Write-in Votes 2 0.20%
This morning, I received the message below as an email:
Peter Markham, From what i understand, noone has brought this to your attention so i figured i'd better do it. Your worthless and your opinion means nothing to me nor to the people of schoolcraft county. You have done nothing for this county except for talk shit about the people of schoolcraft county. Seriously, do you have anything better to do than gossip about others. You probably dont. You dont have a life whatsoever and so you budge into others lives.Your a disgrace to the earth. I would never mean any harm verbally to anyone on this planet, but you, and im sure many others would have to agree with me. You are a shitty person. Just get over yourself and maybe this world could be a better place without your mouth. By the way i feel bad for your wife who has to deal with you. Shes a very nice lady and she doesnt deserve to be involved in this crap. If you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. There are people in schoolcraft county who probably go to your website for the first time and say WOW this guy is a really not a very nice person. Do us all a favor and leave Manistique. Nichole Canary Manistique, Mi
Thank you Nichole, or whoever you are, for what I assume is a great display of a wasted education.
I do not remember hearing or reading, in the public arena, your substantiated opinion of any Schoolcraft County public business, and the players involved. I may be worthless to you, for reasons you are incapable of articulating. I may be a shitty person, with public opinions, worthless to you. I do write substantiated "shit" about the public business of those in public office, and by implication, those that support them. Apparently, my substantiated "gossip" has no value to you, because of reasons you are unwilling to reveal.
As a man with no life, whatsoever, and a disgrace to the Earth, I am humbled by your magnanimous, incisive, and objective perspective as you reveal that I am the one-and-only-person-in-the-world to whom you, and "many others", would wish harm. How small your world and mind must be, and that of "many others"!
Perhaps I have earned your ill will because your raging hormones and puppy love cloud whatever rational judgement you have concerning your current lay, working at the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department. As a disgrace to the Earth, I can do nothing but speculate of your motives and reasoning, or the absence thereof, because, in your subjective broadside, you have said nothing but express an irrational hostile reaction to some unidentified stimulus you attribute to me.
As you leave me no choice but to speculate about the substance behind your rant, perhaps you would fill in the factual blanks for me so that I, and others, may know your true identity, and understand why I have earned your hostility for some specific and uncivilized hurt I have inflicted upon you. Needless to say, I will stay as far away from you as I can, and whatever business you work for, to ensure my safety from whatever foolish ideas that may be circulating in your head that, in your email, indicate little more than a vacuum.
If your tirade is a consequence of a recent election result, then it does not take a genius to understand that whatever candidate we chose to support, for whatever reason(s), the election results indicate that neither one of us are alone in the choices we made. Beyond a reasonable person's concern regarding the ill will expressed in the vacuous contents of the email you authored, I wish you the best, and, hopefully, you will come to understand that of which I have written, or you are likely to be little more than someone's hose-bag for the rest of your life.
Yes Nichole, I was, to a degree, a youthful dyed-in-the-wool asshole, with little to no understanding of the world outside of that which others wanted me to believe. With the consequences of my youthful ignorance, and balls that dragged the ground, I fostered rape, pillage and plunder, and the wholesale slaughter of men women and children whose different view of their world was no threat to mine; thus I learned about the consequences of those predatory public officials that practiced deception and incompetence behind titles of sworn duty to the contrary.
Regardless of who you may be, I hope your transgressions do not go beyond giving this world wise curmudgeon a little emotional gas that I understand too well, and for which I hold no animosity towards you. If nothing else, you will learn the consequences of taking your vocal stand, "right" or "wrong", and with luck, those consequences will not result from the disagreement of others with your choice to exercise your constitutional right to vocalize your perspective of the world, and those in it.
P.S. Please say "Hi!" to Dave, for me.
This will be my last shot at broken-beyond-repair Maddox Sheriff Department "public" business. It concerns Sheriff Maddox's brief public lies entered into the minutes of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting of 10/30/08. Recorded in those minutes is Sheriff Gary Maddox's claim that the fuel and lodging vouchers filed for the claimed "public business" on and about 09/05/08, that I detailed above, were nothing more than a product of my imagination, and that he filed those vouchers relative to attorney business concerning a pending lawsuit.
The minutes of that board meeting and the copies below contradict each other, making one, or the other, false. That implies, to me, once again, that I, and-or the Board of Commissioners, have been deceived by con artists.
Quote from from minutes of Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting of 10/30/08:
""Brief Public Comment": Sheriff Gary Maddox informed the Board that a statement made in a previous meeting of the County Board regarding payment to him for attending a meeting in Marquette was erroneous. Sheriff Maddox said he went to Marquette to meet with an attorney to discuss a pending lawsuit, and not to attend a meeting. Sheriff Maddox submitted a letter to the Board regarding this matter."
Now, my question prompted by sheriff department documented lies is the following:
If this "pending lawsuit" is public business, as Dave Maddox stated at the broadcast candidate forum, and his daddy, Gary Maddox, stated in his public comments quoted above, why is it that I do not know the subject and details of the pending lawsuit(s)? Could it be that those that promote and support broken public business have a couple of pending jail suicide related lawsuits hidden in their closet? Will more inexcusable public business be hidden behind "private" out-of-court settlements with MMRMA insurance, the costs of which are born by the victims and public? Are more consequences of Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department broken public business being hidden behind false claims of privacy, and attorney-client priviledge?
Are there hidden details of public business that should be part of the public record, publicized by local news media, to promote accountability, so that I, and others aware of gross public deception, are not the gossip mongers that some ignorant folk would label us?