Thomas Mindar declines to respond to Citizen questions

Tue, 07/01/2008 - 5:15pm
By: The Citizen

Mindar, Thomas mug4web

Thomas Mindar declined to answer questions posed by The Citizen.

Following is text of a letter submitted and signed by all four candidates in the sheriff's race: (scroll down further to read the questions authored by The Citizen)

“The candidates for the Office of Sheriff of Fayette County have discussed your invitation to participate in the online candidate forum being hosted by The Citizen. Unfortunately, we have decided unanimously not to participate in this forum, in this format.

“While we have chosen not to participate in this forum, please understand that we are not opposed to discussing our positions on issues or responding to citizens’ questions involving the sheriff’s election. Citizens with legitimate questions or concerns may attend any of the published candidate forums or contact us via email or telephone information, which is published on our individual websites.

“The blogs on the online edition of The Citizen contain many slanderous and baseless attacks on the character of each candidate for office. Many things are reported as fact when, in fact, they are little more than rumor or biased personal opinions transparently disguised as fact.

“We are more than willing to discuss issues related to our campaigns in an open forum where a sense of responsibility on the part of the questioners in important.

“In several threads from various posts online about each of the candidates for sheriff, there have been countless attacks that are completely outlandish, untruthful and defamatory to say the least. We believe that participating in a forum of this type will only invite more of these type comments and be unproductive.

“Besides, we are all busy campaigning for office and responding to baseless anonymous attacks would consume an enormous amount of time which we feel would be better spent on more constructive business.

Barry Babb
Wayne Hannah
Thomas Mindar
David Simmons”

Questions for ALL candidates for Fayette sheriff:

1. What is the extent of Fayette County’s “gang problem” currently and how do you specifically plan to address it?

2. Are the department's responses to crime in Fayette right now just about right or do they need improvement?

3. What are the department’s biggest weaknesses and how do you specifically plan to address them?

4. What are the department’s greatest strengths, and how will you build on them?

5. Three of the four candidates work for the sheriff’s department now. After the summer primary, should the unsuccessful deputies start looking for other jobs? What is your philosophy on dealing with in-department opponents after you win?

6. Describe in detail how you will do things differently than Sheriff Johnson has done them. Or do you intend NOT to do things differently?

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Questions for specific candidates:


1. Some have questioned your credentials after your website did not mention your time working for the Georgia Building Authority. Tell us why that was omitted and provide details of your job title and day-to-day duties. Also provide details of why you resigned/quit/were downsized or fired from the position.

2. You have touted your FBI training as proof that you are better prepared. Please explain what aspects of that training you want to apply to the way the sheriff’s office enforces law in Fayette County.

3. Previously, you had a testimonial on your website from Ike McKinnon, who served as chief for several years while you were his chief of staff at the Detroit Police Department. After a blogger started questioning Mr. McKinnon’s motives in an apparently scandal-plagued police department, Mr. McKinnon’s testimonial was removed from your website. Could you explain why, in detail, you decided to remove the letter of recommendation from Mr. McKinnon, who called you a good friend?

4. You have alleged that Fayette County has had a dramatic spike in commercial and residential burglaries, but according to the sheriff’s office Fayette is on track to have just 13 more burglaries this calendar year compared to last calendar year. Assuming those numbers are accurate, how do you explain how your data is “off”? Or do you feel comfortable your data is correct and charge that the sheriff’s department’s data is inaccurate?

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1. Will your wife continue to work for the sheriff’s office if you are elected? If so, how do you plan to address the inevitable problem of conflict of interest, whether real or perceived?

2. Have you — as charged by some — been campaigning in uniform and using your department vehicle for campaign work? If so, how do you justify the use of a taxpayer-funded vehicle? Did you get permission from the sheriff to do so?

3. Please explain your side of the scenario where you went to a man’s house to talk to him about political sign issues; (this issue was detailed in a letter to the editor several weeks ago); the letter writer accused you of attempting to intimidate him but a blogger said you actually know the letter writer and that he is a neighbor you are acquainted with.

4. Please explain your alleged recent “visit” to the sheriff’s department’s roll call in terms of who requested it and what it accomplished? Was the same opportunity extended to all candidates?

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1. You have been accused of being “too religious” by some observers, and one blogger said you have bible classes at the sheriff’s office. Is this true and why do you consider it to be appropriate?

2. Should Fayette County continue its practice of aggressively pursuing fleeing suspects at high speeds in vehicle chases, or do you think such actions endanger the motoring public?

3. Of all four candidates, you have lived in Fayette County the longest. Will you be able to set aside your friendships and personal relationships to be a fair and partial administrator? Please explain in detail how you plan to handle such issues.

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1. A fellow deputy and a former one have called into question several interactions they’ve had with you that call into question your ability to control your temper. Characterize your temperament and your ability to stay cool when things are getting hot.

2. Compared to the other candidates you appear to have the least amount of experience in law enforcement. Others have said you lack any supervisory experience. How do you respond to those observations and how are you prepared to handle the gravity of administrative duties that are the sheriff’s responsibility?

3. On your website you indicate that you want to increase proactive and aggressive patrols. Do you plan to hire new deputies for these positions or do you plan to reassign current deputies to handle that workload? Also, please give us numbers in terms of how many patrol cars are out there now and how many you would like to see on the road.

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Submitted by bluemoon on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:15pm.

Hopefully you'll get all the votes in your family, but don't count on much more than that. Not enough superviser experience.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 8:14pm.

Last night the NAACP held a candidate forum. The 4 candidates who lacked the courage to answer Cal's questions showed up to field gently tossed softball questions from the audience. The Citizen took the night off but their local news competition was there. If you read their recap, one thing stood out: Thomas Mindar is the only candidate who supports affirmative action. The other candidates hemmed and hawed when asked about diversity and hiring African American candidates.

Most of the candidates fell back on the safe and trusty "hiring the best candidates" promise. Thomas Mindar, to his credit, stood up and said the Sheriff's dept needed to hire a lot more African Americans so that the dept. mirrored the county's racial makeup.

Furthermore, the competition newspaper reported that Mindar was the only candidate to "guarantee" a more racially diverse sheriff's dept if elected.

Submitted by Sick of Fascists on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:20pm.

involved in that botched warrant case where the dog was shot, and the guy they were trying to serve with the warrant was already in jail??

Submitted by NeedtoKnow on Tue, 07/08/2008 - 5:53am.

Because if you did, you'd remember that it wasn't Mindar's fault they didn't know the guy was already in jail. That would be the fault of the county that had him in jail and failed to put that information in the state/national crime database. If they had done so, the whole mess could've been avoided.

As to the dog being shot, you mean the large, potentially vicious dog that was running at him in what was, as far as he knew, attack mode? That one?

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 07/05/2008 - 7:35am.

I'm glad he brought this up. I believe that Fayette County has 25%minority population.

I would like know how many Native Indians work at the SO? These people have a right to compensation for the way they have been treated by the founding fathers of this country.

How many American Jewish deputies we have?

How many Japanese American deputies do we have?

How many Hispanic deputies do we have?

How many Mexican American deputies do we have?

We already have 10% American black deputies, but the rest of these numbers need to be filled to meet the 25% minority population in Fayette County. These people need to be recognized.

We have many Japanese and Jewish Americans who are not being represented. This needs to be corrected immediately so that these people can feel safe in this community.

Submitted by jokerman on Fri, 07/04/2008 - 8:28pm.

should be based solely on who is the best qualified for the job. Period. Just out of curiousity, does the NBA membership mirror their communities?

Submitted by NeedtoKnow on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 9:00pm.

I am one who could benefit from affirmative action (not all of it is about race and especially not all of it is about African-Americans), but I would NOT want to be hired because of affirmative action, not for any job.

I would rather those hired to protect us be chosen with color & gender blindness.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 8:34pm.

I guess he's desperate for votes.

I would agree with him that the SO is not anything resembling diverse and is pretty redneck actually, but there is a difference between actively recruiting black candidates and affirmative action that gives preference based on race. Why not both "best candidate" and "black?"

Let's face it, very few blacks were ever going to apply in Fayette while Randall was in charge and some of his command staff. Simply getting a new sheriff is an opportunity to have at least a chance of having a department that somewhat represents the community it serves.

Submitted by sageadvice on Fri, 07/04/2008 - 5:06am.

It has always been and appears to be forever in Fayette that it is OK to hire a white deputy who requires years of patience and training to become totally competent, but it is not OK to hire a minority of any kind and do the same procedure!
However. there are also few minorities who will put out the extra effort to fit in and perform as well as they can before and during their attempt to get hired. Many prefer someplace that already has many minorities---it is easier.

Now there are the facts. Neither side wants to capitulate.

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