I was listening to the Jared Morris Show on WGMD today, he was talking about the Sussex County Council and the law suit against the council based on the practice of the council to hold an organized Christian prayer during the regular meetings.
Out of the blue Eric Bodenweiser called in and attempted to tie the prayer issue into the ongoing issue of the battle between the county council and the Sussex County Sheriff, Jeff Christopher. Mr. Bodenweiser has been very out spoken in his support for the sheriff.
He did this by pointing out, in his words, that a Sussex deputy had been put on administrative leave for attending a prayer meeting at a local church. In the way that he put this forth, the show’s host and at least myself felt that Mr. Bodenweiser was inferring that the deputy had been punished for his faith.
To Jared’s credit he asked some questions about what had led to the punishment. Mr. Bodenweiser then said that the county had seen fit to play “Big Brother” and had placed GPS devices on the vehicles of the deputies to track their movements. Mr. Bodenweiser then continued to state that the deputy had simply gone home had dinner and a shower, and then returned to the church for the prayer meeting. Mr. Bodenweiser then repeated his view that this was somehow “Big Brother” watching our every move, he made a statement along the lines of , “this is how the county government is using our tax dollars”.
Now any thinking person would never think that the deputy had been punished for attending a prayer meeting, clearly if this is the case that a deputy was put on administration leave after being tracked by a GPS on a county vehicle, then he was punished for improper use of an official vehicle. The GPS is not “Big Brother” watching our every move, but is actually an attempt by the county government to protect the tax payers from being abused.
Now before someone says that the GPS is another attack by the council on the office of the sheriff due to the ongoing riff between the two, let me tell you that I have been told that almost every county vehicle has a GPS device. Obviously with good cause.
Now if this is true that a deputy did abuse the privilege of having a vehicle to ride back and forth to work in, then we must ask, how long has this been happening? How broad was the abuse among other deputies? Who knew this was happening? And who didn’t know it and why didn’t they?
Did the sheriff know this type of abuse was occurring? If he didn’t why? Is he too focused on law suits and other peripheral issues? And what has been his response since having it brought to his attention.
One has to think that since Mr. Bodenweiser has been one of the most, if not the most vocal supporter of Sheriff Christopher, that he may have some inside information about what has been going on within the hallowed halls of the sheriff’s office. Was this Mr. Bodenweiser’s “Joe Biden” moment? Was he a “little out over his skis”?
If this turns out to be true, and a deputy was put on administrative leave as a punishment for abuse of county resources, one has to ask, is this merely the tip of the iceberg. Is there a sense of entitlement among the office of the sheriff, a sense of autonomy that has filtered down from the very top of the sheriff’s department. A sense that the office is above reproach.
Maybe we need a complete audit of the sheriff’s office so that we know that the citizen’s tax dollars are well spent on the current status of the office, especially since the sheriff is asking to expand the office which would also expand the cost to the tax payers.