PRESSURE BUILDS FOR SHERIFF DANIEL TO RESIGN
June 26, 2005
GRANTS PASS, OR. -- When elected to public office, individuals sometimes rise to the level of their responsibilities for the position to which they have been entrusted by the voters. Other times the voters are taken for a breathtaking ride by an incompetent person holding a public office. The incompetents are easy to spot; they treat their public office as their personal fiefdom bestowing favors and promotions on their friends, making life difficult for those who see them for what they are, and basking in their new found power.
There is a great similarity between these individuals and the king in the comic strip the Wizard of Id. Like the king, a little shrimp of a man, they have tremendous egos, want personal loyalty from their subjects, and would like to send their detractors to the gallows for proper punishment. They will also promise the voters anything to get elected and then renege on those promises they knew they couldnít keep. These are the wheeler dealers, cigar puffing, backroom politicians who will sell their soul to Old Nick and sign their name on the line for seven good years.
Moral authority lost
Sheriff Dave Daniel has been in office for the past six years and five months, and his time is running out. Daniel sits in the chair and wears the badge, but he is really not the sheriff. When a man fails to keep promises he has made to the voters, he becomes an imposter, a straw man with no real moral authority or deserved respect from the voters. Daniel lost his way shortly after becoming sheriff as documented by many articles in the US Observer and NewsWithViews.com chronicling his past few years in office.
Sheriff loses votersí trust
Daniel has supported several recent ballot measures that would increase property taxes, and the voters have rebuked him severely in several past elections by their vote of rejection for each tax measure. Danielís credibility was severely dashed in November 2004 when voters said no to his endorsement of a tax to fund more jail beds. This vote was in part a lack of trust and respect for the sheriff. A sheriff must have the respect and confidence of the people to function effectively in any county. In this article the case will be made why Daniel no longer has that respect and confidence of the people of this county, and why it is time for him to resign his position as sheriff.
Lawsuits cost Taxpayers $300,000
Recently Josephine County (JoCo) and its insurer paid out over $300,000 to cover a suit brought by two Josephine County deputies who, according to a mediator, were fired without just cause. Daniel allegedly fired Wayne Dykes and Carol Huffman because of past grudges and their loyalty to the people of the county rather than the sheriff. Danielís losing of the lawsuit makes an extremely strong case for the unjustified firing of Dykes and Huffman. The $300,000 loss means insurance rates for the county will increase, and there will be fewer services available for county residents. It is unacceptable that Josephine County residents must pay for lost lawsuits that should never have happened. This powerful issue placed in the voterís pamphlet listing the reasons for a recall would most certainly guarantee a humiliating defeat for Daniel if he declines to resign his position as sheriff.
Former DA Thompson had it right
Before Daniel was elected to office, former District Attorney Tim Thompson had the foresight to realize that Daniel did not have the administrative capabilities to be a sheriff. In a letter to the editor of the Daily Courier Thompson stated his reasons why Daniel shouldnít be elected sheriff. Danielís response to the letter was to call the former DA a SOB. I asked Daniel if he said that, and he replied that he didnít remember. A witness does remember. Daniel has been unable to form a working relationship with the new county commissioners as well as the previous commissioners.
There was a deep personal enmity between Daniel and former Commissioner Jim Brock. Daniel was a leading factor in an attempt to get rid of the commissionerís office and replace it with a county manager and place all public offices under the managerís control except his own. This attempt to change county government was soundly defeated by county voters. Daniel was forced to endure another humiliating defeat. In fact, Daniel has a lawsuit pending against the present board of commissioners, paid for with taxpayer dollars. He filed the suit because the commissioners refused to approve the extra money to pay for a promotion of the jail commander to become a lieutenant. When Daniel ran for office, he said, ďThe sheriff only gets a certain amount of money. You do the best you can to continue to serve the citizens of Josephine County with that amount of money.Ē
Five deputies and three patrol cars for one clucker
Daniel sent seven deputies to the Winter Olympics in 2002, and this was reportedly done by paying other deputies overtime to fill those positions. This was another outrageous use of budgeted funds supposed to be used to protect the residents of Josephine County, not to fulfill one of Danielís fantasies. Daniel supported the insanity of the great chicken raid at the Nick Gombos ranch in Williams, Oregon. It involved five deputies, three patrol cars, $300 in overtime, and the midnight waking of a sleeping Judge Gerald Neufeld to get a signed warrant for a 1:00 AM adventure to recover a chicken named Speckles. Josephine County and Daniel received negative national guffaws for this choice stupidity. In fact, Daniel reportedly got a rubber chicken from the state sheriffís association for laughs. This is the mentality of a man running a multimillion dollar sheriffís office.
The political reward system at work
Danielís idea of promotions often depends on who is personally loyal to him. How about the promotion of a deputy from a civil sgt. to a lieutenant with a nice pay raise to oversee patrol and detectives, even though the man had never worked in either of these areas? It seems that for some deputies in the JoCo sheriffís office the way to get ahead is give your personal loyalty to the sheriff. Promotions often donít go to the best qualified, but are used as a political reward system. Daniel can also be vindictive, as shown by the time he fired a sergeant one day before his retirement.
Sheriff caught coming out of Wal-Mart
Two major problems in Josephine County are drugs and theft. Burglaries are a hot button with county residents as they are not being investigated. You can have the theft of thousands of dollarsí worth of personal property, and no deputy will comes to your residence to investigate. Sure, you can talk to a deputy on the phone, but thatís as far as the investigation will go. The door is wide open for burglaries in JoCo. This same problem was plaguing the former sheriff Dan Calvert. Daniel saw a weak spot in Calvertís reelection bid and told the public he could solve the problem without asking for more money.
Here is what Daniel said he could do, ďFor the last three years what we have heard from the sheriffís department is I canít respond to your burglary because we donít have the funds. Youíve heard that I canít answer your telephone calls because we donít have the personnel. We canít come out and take your stolen car report; itís beyond available resources. Well, I think thatís unacceptable, unacceptable to me not to respond to your burglaries and thefts. What you have to do, you have to reallocate your resources and do the best job possible with what you have to make it work and protect and serve the citizens of Josephine County. It should have been done three years ago. Could be done today. Will be done when Iím elected.Ē  The fact is, Daniel has not kept his campaign promise.
The voters were deceived, and burglaries are not being investigated as Daniel promised they would be. Daniel still gets his check and perks every month regardless of what he promised. Then Daniel spewed out a mouthful of pickle juice saying, ďIf you come into the Josephine County Sheriffís Office and you want to visit me and Iím not there, itís not because Iím in Florida (Calvert went to Florida) or itís not because Iím in Las Vegas, itís because I may be in Merlin answering a call or Iím in Murphy takiní a report. Thatís the reason Iím not there.Ē When was the last time anyone saw Daniel in Murphy or Merlin taking a report? Daniel wasnít in his office recently, and he wasnít in Merlin or Murphy either protecting the public. He was seen brazenly coming out of Wal-Mart with his wife, and they were carrying packages during regular working hours. Remember the sheriff isnít accountable to anyone, and he can come and go as he pleases. Could this be why Daniel recently appointed Brian Anderson as the undersheriff? Now Daniel is in the position where he can actually do nothing and still get paid while going shopping at Wal-Mart during regular working hours.
A dangerous man
The issues are many that show Dave Daniel does not have the administrative ability to oversee 100 employees and a multimillion dollar budget for the sheriffís office. At one time Daniel spent $20,000 with a firm to show him how to be an administrator, and it was wasted taxpayersí money. Daniel also received a vote of no confidence from the deputies in the sheriffís association, and for good reason. Heís like a small boy in a candy shop with a $100 bill and no one watching him, or so he thinks.
Daniel has failed as a sheriff, and itís time for him to tender his resignation for the good of the residents of Josephine County. The mentioned $300,000 lawsuit that was paid out because of Danielís bad judgment is just one of many lawsuits that have been settled, and the cost of a special election is peanuts compared to what a larger lost lawsuit could cost the county. Just from the point of public liability Daniel is a dangerous man to have acting as sheriff; some might consider Barney Fife a better bet. His track record is that of a loser. Heís not a runner, and heís not a good sheriff. More hot issues against Daniel have developed since this article was written. Visit NewsWithViews.com often for further developments.
Itís decision time
Itís time for Daniel to look in the mirror and reflect on the past six years, then take a careful look at himself. Resigning would certainly be a better option than facing a recall. It is unlikely that Daniel would survive a recall; his liabilities far overshadow any assets he has accumulated while in office. If Daniel were to resign, the obvious recommendation is for the commissioners to select undersheriff Brian Anderson to serve out the remainder of Danielís term.
Tell Sheriff Daniel what you think
If readers from Maine to Oregon agree that a case has been made against Dave Danielís competence as an acting sheriff, and that he should immediately resign his position for the good of the sheriffís office and Josephine County, they can call or e-mail the sheriff:
sheriff Daniel at: (541) 474-5123
Those interested in a recall and gathering signatures should contact John Taft at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 479-0645
NOTE: Anyone who wants to get paid for gathering signatures, there will be $2,000 available for 6,000 signatires.
© 2005 John Taft - All
E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale
John Taft former president of Josephine County, OR. Taxpayers Association is presently an investigative reporter for the US-Oregon Observer and NewsWithViews.com. He has had many years of broadcasting, news writing and reporting experience. He also has written a popular conservative newsletter for a taxpayers organization to inform the public on taxing issues.