Sheriff slams candidate Simmons for ‘distortion,’ fear-mongering

Tue, 05/27/2008 - 4:43pm
By: John Thompson

Two of Fayette County’s largest law enforcement agencies stepped squarely into the middle of the race to succeed retiring Sheriff Randall Johnson.

The sheriff and the Fayetteville Police Department vigorously disputed one candidate’s assertions of gang activity and increased crime at the Pavilion, the county’s largest shopping center.

Letters from Sheriff Johnson and Fayetteville Police Major Kevin Gooding appear in this edition on pages A7 and A8.

In his letter to The Citizen, Johnson disputes a notion about gang activity in the county.

“Let me be clear — Fayette County does not have a ‘gang problem,’” Johnson wrote. Johnson accused Republican candidate Dave Simmons of creating fear and exaggerating the crime issue in the community, and said the department “... will not allow any such activity to take root in our community.”

Johnson also suggested he was not impressed with Simmons’ service with the Detroit Police Department.

“They have struggled ineffectively, since the time he served in a senior leadership position, to keep crime contained in that city.”

Contacted Tuesday, Simmons responded that he’s a resident of Fayette County, not Detroit, and has heard the concerns of residents about gang activities in the county.

“At a candidates’ forum, one of the participants said gangs have been trying to form in the county since 1994,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Fayetteville Police Department is disputing that the Fayette Pavilion is an unsafe place to shop.

“There is regular dialogue in which information is shared about actual crime and issues in the Pavilion. The statistics prove a tremendous reduction of reported larcenies over the last four years (375 in 2003 compared to 125 in 2007).

“Reported Part I crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, and motor vehicle theft dropped from 15 in 2003 to 6 in 2007.

“Considering that there are 85 retail establishments and 1.5 million square feet of shopping space in the Pavilion, these numbers are relatively low.

“Several publicized letters have focused attention on the Pavilion and the movie theater as places where rowdy teens gather. The Fayetteville Police Department has a zero-tolerance policy for loitering,” wrote Fayetteville Police Major Kevin Gooding.

But Simmons said he has had several conversations with residents who have a different view.

“Residents are telling me that police officers are telling them not to shop at the Pavilion after a certain hour because it’s not safe,” he said.

Simmons also said some break-ins are not being reported at the Pavilion, and he has done an Open Records request to get a copy of all crime at the shopping center.

“I just want to get the information out there and keep this community safe,” he said.

Simmons also wants to know why Johnson is getting involved in the race, when he’s moving out of county to a retirement home on West Point Lake.

“If this is such a safe county, why is he leaving? I think he’s just lost touch with his constituents,” Simmons said Tuesday.

In his letter in today’s edition, Johnson said, “I have had the Sheriff’s Office intimately involved in monitoring and addressing potential gang influences in a multi-agency task force for more than two years — long before one candidate discovered he could create fear by exaggerating a sensitive issue for our community.”

Johnson accused Simmons, a former commander in the Detroit, Mich., police department and a current resident of Whitewater subdivision, of distorting the facts about actual criminal activity in Fayette. “To suggest that an economic slowdown, as evidenced at the Fayette Pavilion Shopping complex, is the result of an out of control crime rate is disingenuous at best, irresponsible as a matter of fact,” Johnson wrote.

Simmons is one of four candidates seeking the post held by Johnson in the Republican Primary July 15. The other three are current officers in the sheriff’s department. There is no Democratic challenger.

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Submitted by kikenbutt on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 5:03pm.

a little on this website and found this article posted in The Citizen in 2006...What was the outcome?

County wins order against sheriff
Tue, 04/04/2006 - 5:31pm
By: John Munford
Fayette County officials got approval for a temporary protective order against Sheriff Randall Johnson that would forbid him from “misuse of his police powers.”
The order, granted after a court hearing Tuesday, also forces the sheriff’s department to comply with county purchasing policies and to allow the county access to 10 vehicles so their title paperwork can be completed.
This is not the end of this legal skirmish between the Fayette County Commission and Sheriff Johnson, as this is a temporary order and not a final ruling.
Even so, the ruling against the sheriff marks at least a temporary victory for Commission Chairman Greg Dunn in his long-standing effort to impose county purchasing rules on Sheriff Johnson in the use of federally dispensed drug seizure funds.
The testimony, all from the county’s witnesses, was heard by Senior Superior Court Judge William Isom, who was selected after all Fayette judges recused themselves from the case. The sheriff presented no witnesses.
Much of the testimony centered around an incident Jan. 4 when County Finance Director Mark Pullium and at least two other county employees were detained by the sheriff’s department after the county employees took possession of three unmarked vehicles that the sheriff’s department previously had traded in to Don Jackson Lincoln Mercury in Union City.
Pullium testified that both Sheriff Johnson and Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Sheriff’s Department told him he was “going to spend the night in jail” after 10 to 15 sheriff’s department personnel showed up at the county’s public works facility with their vehicles’ emergency lights activated.
Pullium said he was taken in the back seat of a patrol car to the sheriff’s department, where he was taken to a conference room. There, after a talk with Sheriff Johnson, the sheriff agreed to release him, and a sheriff’s deputy took Pullium back to the county government’s Stonewall complex. But before he was released, Johnson said he would seek a federal indictment against Pullium, the finance director said.
Pullium said regardless of whether the vehicles were purchased with federal drug seizure money, they were still county property. Pullium said he was the official who made the decision to retake possession of the unmarked cars, and that he took an unconventional route back from the dealership “because I had a feeling ... that the sheriff might try to stop us when we came back.”

tortugaocho's picture
Submitted by tortugaocho on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 5:34pm.

Wayne Hannah was certainly BJ's boy...He had to be. If you are gonna hook up Simmons to brass in Detroit you need to do the same for Wayne and Bruce. Wayne knew all that was going on and he just went along to go along. Tagging Simmons for his superiors and not doing the same with Hannah is humorous.

Submitted by Tom1939 on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 6:01am.

Albez writes, "Dave Simmons is the best Candidate, with excellent credentials, strong leadership background,and experience in motivating a strong professional department." These comments suggest Dave Simmons had a "superior in command" and executive decision-making role on the Detroit police department. These professional experiences are the cornerstone of Simmons' candidacy to head the FCSD.

Tortugaocho writes, "Tagging Simmons for his superiors and not doing the same with Hannah is humorous." This comment seems to suggest that Dave Simmons was a minor player on the Detroit police department and an innocent by-stander to the decisions made in the running of that department. Simmons was subservient to "superiors in command." While Simmons had executive ranks for more than a decade, Simmons played no direct role in running the department. This comment undercuts Dave Simmons' claim of being a top executive on the Detroit police department. Top executive experiences that have made him ready to run the FCSD.

These comments contradict each other. Is Dave Simmons inflating his resume to claim for himself the efforts and work of other Detroit police executives? Was Dave Simmons at the top of Detroit's department as he has been saying down here for some time ... or did Simmons merely "hold the coats" and serve refreshments to those at the top of Detroit's department?

Do you see the inherent problems of Simmons' candidacy to head the FCSD? How do these contradiction in claims make Dave Simmons, "the most qualitified candidate for sheriff" as his campaign slogan states? Is someone being less than completely truthful?

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 7:32am.

He and his followers can't even keep from breaking simple ordinances while they are trying to convince/con us into believing that he is the best candidate.

The best candidate for Sheriff would be someone who is an honest law abiding citizen. Mr. Simmons has proven time and again that he is not, by placing signs in the right of way and on peoples private property. You can't even follow simple laws and ordinances now, what would you do when you took office? I think I know how you would perform based on how you performed in high crime detroit.

The top "officials" at the Detroit PD have been chastised many times the most notable being on Friday Aug. 28, 1992. U.S District Court Judge Paul Gadola lashed out at all of the "top officials" under Chief Hart, at Harts trial for embezzling drug funds.

"there is a rotten situation at police headquarters under Hart, where top officials became the proverbial old boys network circling deffensivly as federal investigators zeroed in on Chief Hart for 14yrs."

"various command officers must have known what the chief was doing- they must have known it was wrong yet no one did naything or said anything"

Note: to Simmons followers this information was obtained from court transcripts and Detroit Free Press Newspaper.

Either simmons was never part of the "top command" and he has lied to pump up his resume, or he was a big part of the problem. Which is probably why he had to get out of Detroit, even before he retired.

The fact that Detroits crime is off of the charts and has been for many years, says that whatever they were doing to fight crime wasn't working and has never worked. We don't need to attract high crime here.

We need someone who is honest, and hasn't been retired for 12yrs. to run our Sheriff's Dept.

Submitted by kikenbutt on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 9:46pm.

The Justice department ruled on leaving funds and equipment from drug seizures with the Sheriff's department, but asked Sheriff Randall to appoint someone. "At the request of Sheriff Randall Johnson, the contact person for the shared asset funds and equipment will continue to be Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan, director of investigations for the sheriff’s department." And the rest is history.

Quoted from The Citizen In the news Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Submitted by kikenbutt on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 7:28am.

Audit finds loose accounting by sheriff
Tue, 10/03/2006 - 5:03pm
By: John Thompson
The long-awaited release of the forensic audit of the Sheriff’s Department use of federal drug funds provides a glimpse into a program that has been shrouded from public view for several years.
Click here to download a copy of the full accounting report.
The Fayette County Commission voted Thursday night after executive session to release the results of the audit provided by The Investigative Accounting Group.
In her 16-page assessment CPA Laurie Dyke said that there were “no direct instances of misappropriation; however, we were unable to establish that all transactions were properly approved and recorded or that all assets acquired with Federal Seizure Funds are being used for valid purposes, based on documents provided.”
Contacted Monday, Sheriff Randall Johnson said he didn’t have a chance to examine the whole document and a statement would be released at a later date by Johnson, or his attorney Rick Lindsey.
“I know there are some things that need to be tightened up,” he said.
On Tuesday, County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn explained why it took so long for the $16,000 audit to be released.
“We were going through legal channels and this was part of our discovery during one of the cases against the sheriff,” he explained.
The audit has been completed since last November, but Dunn said the county was trying to “solve the problem without imploding the county.”
The audit seems to vindicate county officials who claimed there were no financial controls on the Sheriff’s Department.
“I just can’t believe that nobody questioned him for years. The information has been there,” Dunn added.
The commission chairman said the audit shows the arrogance of the department in not documenting travel expenses and leaving large gratuities.
“They were leaving $10 tips on a $20 bill with taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Travel costs
The audit covered 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. As part of the audit, investigators also examined trips totaling more than $70,000 taken by the department in fiscal years 2004 and 2005.
In the audit several deviations were observed from the county’s written travel policy, including:
• No documentation of the necessity, approximate cost or advance approval of trips by the department.
“Implicit approval is generally documented through Captain (Michele) Walker’s authorization to issue per diem payments to travelers,” the audit stated.
• A flagrant disregard for the county’s travel policy that limits attendance at events that are more than 300 miles away to one employee.
“We noted numerous trips to locations more than 300 miles from the county, including Boston, Houston and Las Vegas with multiple attendees and no written justification,” the report stated.
• Exceeding the county’s 20 percent maximum gratuity policy.
“We noted a few where the gratuity amount appears unreasonable and certainly above the 20 percent limit, including one where the meal receipt was $22 and a $10 tip was included,” the audit said.
While most of the travel expenses appear in line, the auditors had a problem with the lack of documentation surrounding the travel. Another problem was advancing money from the drug buy fund account, instead of federal seizure funds.
During a visit to the department in Aug. 2005, the auditors questioned Walker about expense advance and reimbursement forms without check numbers. Walker told the investigators that she “sometimes pays travel expenses and occasional other small items from a cash fund that she keeps in her safe.”
The investigators said the cash in the safe comes from funds budgeted for drug buys.
“Each year for at least several years, the Sheriff has requested and the county has budgeted a line item for drug buys. No documentation of the actual use of these funds is received by the county finance department. We understand that the amount is approximately $28,000 per year.”
“We also discovered that some of the cash is maintained in the safe, but some of it is kept in a bank account maintained by the Sheriff’s Department that was not provided to us,” the investigators indicated.
Some of the trips made by Sheriff’s Department employees include:
• A two-day trip to Pensacola, Fla., in July 2003 for four employees, including then-Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan. The trip was paid for with drug funds.
• A three-day trip to Boston for three employees, including Jordan in August 2003.
• A two-day trip to South Carolina in August 2003 for three employees for repairing the helicopter. The trip was paid for with drug funds.
• A trip to Washington, D.C., in September 2003 for four employees to attend a firearms instruction class.
• An eight-day trip to Florida in October 2003 for Jordan and three employees for “unknown training.”
• A five-day trip to South Carolina for five employees to attend bloodhound training.
• A two-day trip to Las Vegas in February 2004 for Jordan and two employees. The audit says there was no stated purpose for training and no conference registration.
• A four-day trip to Ft. Lauderdale in March 2004 for Jordan and two employees. The audit states no purpose was given and no per diem or expenses, except hotel.
• A four-day trip to Jacksonville for Jordan and three employees for crisis hostage negotiation.
• A trip to Hilton Head in September 2004 for two employees for asset forfeiture training.
In the annual certification report signed by Sheriff Randall Johnson, the document lists $96,497 for travel and training in fiscal year 2004.
Commission Chairman Greg Dunn refused to sign the document because of lack of documentation.
In the most recent certification report submitted in July, $66,996 was spent on travel and training.
The auditors listed several problems with the department’s accounting practices involving training and travel. The department was taken to task for no accountability to the county, the undisclosed bank account and the indication that all of the drug fund buy money was not used to purchase drugs and a lack of documentation of funds paid or reimbursed from the drug buy fund.
Computers and televisions
The audit also discovered that during 2003 and 2004, the department bought more than $190,000 in computers, TVs and electronic equipment. But when the auditors tried to inventory the items, they ran into problems.
“Several of the items we attempted to verify were not tagged, improperly identified, not available for inspection because we were told that they were out in the field, or on loan to another agency and not recorded on either of the inventory listings,” the audit reports.
In 2004, the department bought more than $21,000 worth of TVs for the watch office.
During the same time frame, the department spent more than $157,000 on 10 vehicles and two golf carts. All of the vehicles were purchased at Don Jackson Lincoln Mercury through a very informal process.
“The Sheriff’s Department does not issue purchase requisitions, purchase orders or competitive bids for large purchases, as specified in Fayette County’s Municipal Code Article 5. Several purchases in excess of $20,000 were made and according to county regulations, these should have been approved by the Board of Commissioners on a competitive sealed bid basis,” the audit states.
The audit also said it’s questionable whether one of the vehicles should have been assigned to District Attorney Scott Ballard because the assignment may not be a “valid law enforcement purpose” required by the Equitable Sharing Guidelines.
The two golf carts were assigned to school resource officers at Whitewater Middle School and an unnamed school. As of Nov. 2005, the audit determined the department had a ratio of 1.09 vehicles for every non-jail employee in the department.
In January, three Fayette County employees were detained by deputies after they drove away from an auto dealership with three vehicles that had been traded in by the sheriff’s department three weeks earlier.
Although county officials contended the cars were titled to the county and thus owned by the county, sheriff’s officials say they were bought with federal drug seizure funds which by law means they can only be used for law enforcement purposes.
The vehicles had been used as undercover cars, and the department routinely trades undercover vehicles out ... “for obvious reasons,” said then- Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan, director of investigations for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Because the cars were bought with federal drug seizure funds, the county does not have control over them.
“The matter has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Jordan said, noting that no arrests were made nor citations issued in connection with the incident.
Jordan said the initial report from the dealership was unclear about who actually took the vehicles, so deputies began looking for them. Ironically, it was Jordan himself who found the vehicles on Ga. Highway 54 near McDonough Road and he followed them into the county’s fleet maintenance area along with an undercover drug agent in an unmarked vehicle and one road deputy.
“I said, ‘Get out of our cars,’” Jordan said, adding that County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn had sent a letter to the dealership asserting that the cars were county property.
“I told them Greg Dunn has no governing authority over them because they were purchased with federal drug funds,” Jordan said.
The three county employees, including Finance Director Mark Pullium, were taken to the sheriff’s department to write statements about “why they did what they did,” Jordan said. Pullium did not comply with that request, although the two other employees did, Jordan added.
All three employees were later released after Sheriff Randall Johnson determined not to arrest them. Jordan said the cars were the dealership’s property and thus the dealership could have taken out criminal warrants for the employees’ arrest.
Also, one of the cars had an incorrect tag placed on it, and none of them were insured, meaning that the three employees could have at least been cited for driving without insurance, Jordan said. No citations were written, Jordan confirmed.
The three cars had a trade-in value of $21,000, Jordan said. Because they had already had their insurance coverage revoked, the cars had to be towed away, he added.
Another big purchase during fiscal year 2005 was weapons. The department spent more than $75,000 on 142 Sig-Sauer pistols. When the auditors visited in Oct. 2005, they received an inventory listing showing all 142 of the new weapons, but only seven were in the armory. One weapon that was supposed to be in the armory was with a uniformed officer, and another that was shown as being assigned was in the armory.
The Sig-Sauers replaced Glocks and the auditors were told the Glocks were being used as backup weapons. The auditors received an old inventory listing of the Glocks, but were told it had not been updated in years.
“There is no policy to physically inspect weapons assigned to any officers,” the report concluded.
The audit concludes that certain spending decisions by the Sheriff’s Department may adversely impact the county’s budget. When vehicles are bought with seized funds, they have to be maintained and insured with county funds.
The county could end up paying operating costs for the helicopter in several years, the audit says, if it’s determined the helicopter costs are not an approved use of seizure funds.
In 2004, the department started with a balance of $167,000 in the seized funds account and received $853,000 in seizure funds and interest income and spent $654,000. But in 2005, the department only received $191,000 and spent $490,000 and was left with a year-ending balance of $47,000.
“If the trend continues, it is possible that there will be insufficient Federal Seizure Funds to pay for the significant helicopter expenses and this may create budget and cost issues for the county,” the audit concluded.
In 2006, the numbers bounced back. The department received $1.5 million in funds and spent $599,000, leaving a fund balance of $962,000.
The audit does indicate that funds are being spent for valid law enforcement purposes and supplementing the Sheriff’s budget, but offers several concerns.
• Certain line items, such as uniforms, are budgeted in drug funds and the general county budget.
• The use of a vehicle by the District Attorney.
• The large amount of money spent on TVs and computers.
• The ongoing expenses for the helicopter.
In summary, the audit states that seizure funds have not been accurately reported in the county’s annual financial report. While the inaccuracies are not material to the county’s financial statement, they “indicate internal control weaknesses which can and should be corrected.”
“The Sheriff’s Department is not complying with established county policies and procedures, especially related to purchasing, competitive bids and documentation of travel expenses,” the audit concludes.
The audit also warns the county should be cautious about the Sheriff’s Department reporting before signing the annual Certification Report.
In April of this year, County Commission Chairman Greg Dunn insisted that all federally forfeited property be “funneled through the Fayette County Department of Finance,” according to a letter he wrote to Fayette County Sheriff Randall Johnson.
Dunn also wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the federal drug forfeiture program, saying that all property “requested on behalf of the sheriff’s department” should be submitted to county finance director Mark Pulliam.
“This letter is to notify you that, effective immediately, the contact person authorized to receive forfeited property from the Department of Justice has been changed to the Fayette County Director of Finance, Mark Pulliam,” Dunn wrote.
Currently the Justice Department works directly with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department in providing the seized items and funds.
The sheriff’s department operates a drug task force that works local cases in addition to regional cases by cooperating with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. By participating in DEA busts, the sheriff’s department qualifies for the seized money, which must be spent on items such as equipment, supplies and training. The funds cannot be used to pay salaries.
Dunn’s letter to the Justice Department also referred to the sheriff’s department entering a “Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement.”
Sheriff Randall Johnson said there is no such agreement in place.
“No agreement ever happened about that drug money because it’s not his,” Johnson said
Dunn has insisted that he doesn’t want to control the forfeited drug funds, but he wants the funds and property purchased with that money to be fully accounted for.
The sheriff’s department made its drug seizure fund purchases available for inspection by Pulliam earlier this year who went through stacks of receipts from purchases, officials said.
— Staff Writer John Munford contributed to this article.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 7:46am.

the Sheriff's Dept. has attended. I didn't realize how busy they have been staying on the cutting edge of crime fighting. Just think if they hadn't used the confiscated drug money, we as taxpayers would have had to pay for the helicopter and the classes.

Here is the big difference between Detroit and Fayette. All of the receipts were made available for investigation. Also they have the equipment, ie; the helicopter and the mobile SWAT command center, and computers to show where the money went. That's the difference. When investigated they could actually prove where the money went to. In Detroit, when they got a search warrant for Chief Harts house they found most of the money in the ceiling tiles in his kitchen. That is the difference and it is a big difference!.

Submitted by kikenbutt on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 9:52am.

"The auditors listed several problems with the department’s accounting practices involving training and travel. The department was taken to task for no accountability to the county, the undisclosed bank account and the indication that all of the drug fund buy money was not used to purchase drugs and a lack of documentation of funds paid or reimbursed from the drug buy fund."

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 8:46pm.

Actually it was Hannah's investigation of Jordan that led to his firing.

Anybody saying that Hannah was BJ's boy has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what's going on.

Don't believe me? Check out the records at the S.O. They speak the truth.

Submitted by wannabeme2 on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 5:40pm.

You just opened up a can of worms!

Submitted by Dalmation195 on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 7:03am.

Here we go with the falsehoods and innuendos in this race for Sheriff. Mr. Simmons has the audacity to inflate the fear of crime in Fayette County by attempting to frighten all of us into believing that there is rampant crime here. While it is no secret that there is more crime here than there was three decades ago, our population has also grown by more than 400%. In addition, the population of our surrounding counties have also grown. Thirty years ago, there was less reason for anyone to come into Fayette County since there was much less retail present.

We all knew that we would have the associated problems that inevitably comes with growth of both population and retail establishments. That is the very thing that all of us have been fighting for decades. However, our litigious society has placed our local leaders into euphemistic "box" when it comes to these things. If they turn down any development, then the developer wants to file lawsuits. I might add that, in most cases, the developer wins. Take the town of Tyrone and John Wieland homes, and Peachtree City and the big box stores. This growth was inevitable.

Gone are the days that I long for when there was two traffic lights and one flashing yellow light in all of Fayetteville. Yes I remember that. Traffic lights at Hwy 54 and Hwy 85 and another at Hwy 85 and Hwy 92 north. Then a flashing light at Georgia Avenue and Hwy 85. THAT WAS IT!!!!!!!!!

We are all at this place and time together, but we can not afford to have a candidate for office distorting the truth for his own benefit. If he is willing to sacrifice his own ethics to get elected, what will he do to keep that office?

Can we afford to have a situation like our neighbors to the north and east? I don't think so.

I urge you to support either Babb or Hannah for sheriff. Either one of those have the experience and familiarity with Fayette County to vehemently fight crime and take a proactive stance in crime suppression.

Also remember, just arresting them is not the only factor. We need active prosecution and Judges on the bench that will make criminals reluctant to commit crimes here in this county.

Dave Simmons is not the best candidate for this post. Not now, not ever.

Submitted by albez on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 12:54pm.

You stated "gone are the days I long for". Well those days are long gone and I believe the County needs new vision, and a new set of eyes in the Sheriff's department. Dave Simmons is the best Candidate, with excellent credentials, strong leadership background,and experience in motivating a strong professional department.
“Let me be clear — Fayette County does not have a ‘gang problem,’” Johnson wrote (Citizen 5-27-08) - But in December, "Gang Related Beat Down" occured at the FCHS. In January - 'Gang Bibles" were in the news, and in Febuary - "a recruiter for the Bloods gang, was sentenced to four years in jail while another juvenile, who was participating in the fight to regain his rank in the Crips gang, received a two-year sentence"(Citizen 2-14-08) I don't believe that the Citizen news is "Fear-Mongering""Distorting" but it's clear from the article that someone does have a little anxiety. With 400% increase in population, I believe it's time to elect a professional, not a home grown "chosen" crony.

Submitted by Tom1939 on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 4:31pm.

You say, "Dave Simmons is the best Candidate, with excellent credentials, strong leadership background,and experience in motivating a strong professional department."

You say he's "motivated a strong professional department with his strong leadership background." Was it in Detroit? Was it in Highland Park, MI? During the 13 year period from 1988 to 2001, the same period Simmons was a high executive on Detroit's police department, the city paid out $123 million in police abuse lawsuits. Detroit is now fighting off bankruptcy. Simmons went on to head Highland Park's police department that was disbanded after Simmons left after a year of service causing the Wayne County Sheriff Department to take over policing that city. Highland Park, MI is now fighting off bankruptcy.

I'm curious to know the specific details and examples for the basis of your above claim about Simmons' excellent organizational management and manpower motivation skills. While on Detroit's department did he develop these leadership skills as the head of the Homicide Unit? Or, as the head of Major Crimes? Which Detroit Police Precinct, now called Police District, did Simmons serve as the superior command officer?

We know Simmons' knows so much about Gang activity, was Simmons ever selected by Detroit as the leader of their Gang Squad Unit?

Where and how long did Simmons ever hold the "superior in command" status anywhere on Detroit's police department? Or, for the majority of his time as a command officer was Simmons "second in command" and kept under the control of another "superior in command" officer. Why does it seem the Detroit police mostly kept Simmons under someone else's command and control? When was he trusted with his own command assignments? Simmons' good friend and promotion benefactor, Chief Ike McKinnon, didn't put him in a "superior in command" position. When Simmons was promoted to Deputy Chief he did not serve in that "superior in command" position, but instead, retired.

This could suggest the department noticed "issues" with his command style among the officers at the locations he was the "superior in command." Was Simmons' command style too "motivating" for that strong professional department that is now under the control of the US Department of Justice due to the historical unprofessionalism of Detroit's department?

Anyway, what you have posted sounds very good but I'd like more specific details of Simmons' professional law enforcement experience as a command officer.

When was Simmons' the "superior officer in command"? Where was he the superior officer in command? And, how long did Simmons serve in the "superior in command" status? We know about the year he spent with Highland Park's department of public safety. And, please don't bother to mention when or where Simmons was second in command while on Detroit's department. Any details of his "superior in command" assignments on the Detroit police will help establish Simmons' "strong leadership background" you mentioned.

Submitted by kikenbutt on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 5:40pm.

more details of Simmons' strong leadership background? By your own comment posting you state "Yes, I am in the "anybody but Dave Simmons" camp and I'll tell you why. The other candidates are young or younger than Simmons. They are in their professional prime, they are career law enforcement officers who seek the opportunity to give more to our community by their professional service, and their current experience and modern law enforcement expertise."

You are not for Simmons and that's really okay. You have stated that you are a retired police officer from somewhere, I personally get that you might be one that has an ax to grind by your anti-Simmons campaign. Your antics are getting really tiresome, perhaps you need to put your ax away for now and let the cards fall where they may.

Submitted by Tom1939 on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 7:53pm.

Kikenbutt, you're totally right. And, I have been lowering the tone of my post. Look ... Kikenbutt ... when you make a claim you have to be ready and able to support that claim that you have made. This is called "logical reasoning to arrive at a reasonable conclusion about the validity of the claim that has been offered for consideration. Whether or not that claim should be accepted or rejected"

I was attempting to extract information from you that would support your claims about Simmons management and motivation expertise developed while on the Detroit police. Notice that I make claims .. .then I offer support or inferential arguments for the claims I make. For this reason my post tend to be very long because I want to mix tangible fact or fact-based opinion ... not opinion posing as fact. To achieve this I include support independent of me or my opinion. Like newspaper reports, etc. In the end, my desire is to perform a public service, in some small way.

This leads us to the next series of questions I'd like you to answer. I still find it curious as to why Simmons' good friend, Ike McKinnon, never appointed Simmons to a "superior in command" position. He certainly must have noticed over the years Simmons excellent management and motivation skills. When McKinnon was in charge of the Detroit police why didn't he select Simmons for a prime senior command spot of a police unit under his regime? Why didn't McKinnon appoint Simmons to run the Gang Squad where both he and Simmons worked?

When Police Chief McKinnon recreated the position of "Executive Deputy Police Chief," why did McKinnon appoint another police executive officer, Benny Napoleon, ten years younger than Simmons, to that spot? Between 1995, when McKinnon was appointed Police Chief, to 1996, when Simmons retired, McKinnon promoted Simmons from Inspector to Commander to Deputy Chief ... yet never allowed Simmons to exercise the command and control, the police executive powers that go along with those high police command ranks ... McKinnon kept Simmons right under him ... managing the collection of the morning newspapers, donuts and coffee and bossing the secretary to the Chief.

Is there anything that I'm posting that is not factual? If it is factual, isn't it relevant?

Look, Kikenbutt, even if I'm posting more and more details that, in the final analysis, seem to re-enforce this point ... Dave Simmons' using his Detroit police executive record is an exercise of putting "lipstick on a pig" believing that pig can win a beauty contest, doesn't this perform a service for some voters? Why would you want to silence me?

If you dislike me posting tangible arguments questioning Simmons qualifications, how is it that you can post empty rhetoric totally accepting Simmons qualifications ... without question? Is there still freedom of speech in this county?

If you can post why you want Simmons elected, can't I post why I think the next sheriff of Fayette County should be anybody but Dave Simmons? Oh ... I see ... you're trying to get me to stop so you and yours can flood the blog with Simmons glowing "lipstick on a pig" post.

Well ... don't shoot the messagener just because you don't like the message!

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 2:17pm.

if he was the only candidate.

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 2:31pm.

Because he is from Detroit?
Because he hasn't lived in Georgia all his life?
Because his middle name might be Obama Mama?
Some other colorful reason?
He doesn't know what the KKK was? (is)?

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 4:01pm.

Being from Detroit is reason enough for me. But do you really care?

Submitted by tikigod on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 11:12pm.

Sounds like a good enough reason for me!

Not to mention, why in the world would we choose a candidate that has not worked in this specific department and is not already familiar with the territory?

I love our Sheriff's Department, status quo sounds fine to me!

"Don't 'fix' what ain't broke."

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