Washburn County Sheriff Responds to Recent Comments
Statement from Sheriff Dryden
"I was intending to stay out of the fray, as it were, in the campaign for Sheriff between Dennis Stuart and Mike Richter. However, since the Stuart campaign has decided to take an increasingly negative tone and continues to use the term “current administration” in several articles now, I can only assume they are talking about the current sitting Sheriff, me. Several of his supporters have also used this term in supporting posts on FaceBook. Some of the references to the “current administration” I take personally and are extremely offensive and unprofessional. Especially when the references are either bold face lies or the Stuart campaign has been misinformed. Not sure where they are getting their information. Could be by current or past employees, that have been terminated or disciplined for failure to follow established rules of conduct, professionalism, violation of policies or procedures, work performance or moral turpitude."
Links to the first two Q&A's with the Candidates
- Washburn County Sheriff Candidates Answer Questions
- Washburn County Sheriff Candidates Answer Questions Vol. 2
"I was accused in last weeks article on DrydenWire.com by Dennis Stuart of “ruling with fear and intimidation”. Ruling with actual fear and intimidation of reprisals from any supervisor to employees, in any business, is contrary to Federal and State Law, I am not under any such action now, nor have I been in the past almost 28 years. The only employees of my office that should be fearful are those who have been or are under current disciplinary action or fail to follow the Law Enforcement Officers Code of Ethics, guidelines, rules, and standards of conduct that we have established over the past 27 plus years.
"Dennis Stuart wrote this week that the deputies have been asking for 12-hour shifts for years, and he is correct. I have and without reservation refused to even consider 12-hour shifts for patrol deputies. As we have discussed with the deputies on many occasions, “I am going to protect you despite yourselves”. Too many issues to discuss individually in this article. Let me just say this. I have had to balance the need for calls public service and their safety with the needs and safety of our deputies, including the needs of their families. My decision to not allow 12-hour shifts is not only based on the previous but financial considerations and manpower as well. I have hired every current deputy, and every one of them knew coming in that this is the schedule and unlikely to change. Unless the county board will allow us to hire additional staff for each shift, more part-time help, changes to the overtime language in the labor contract, and an additional $60,000 dollars in overtime wages. I do not care what Dennis Stuart or others tell, 12 hours shifts for the Washburn County Sheriff Office will increase over time. Dennis Stuart makes it a point several times in this article that I have never discussed the 12-hour shifts or alternatives with deputies, this is untrue. We have also presented different shifts that I as Sheriff could actually live with and the union flat refused to discuss anything but a 12-hour shift.
"We do have 12-hour shifts in the jail, but you cannot compare apples to oranges. There are three dispatcher/jailers on at a time, they do not carry a gun, they do not drive at high speeds, help for is only a few feet away. But what should really disturb the electors in this county and very disheartening to me is Dennis Stuarts insinuation that I knew and reported having jailers start at 4 AM is harmful to their health but I did it anyway, untrue and very offensive. I never reported such a thing and I do not believe stating at 4 AM versus 6 AM is hazardous to their health. I would never purposely cause harm to any of my employees, to insinuate otherwise is close to defamation of my character and potentially actionable in court. Another untruth is Dennis Stuarts claim that the vote for 12-hour shifts by employees was unanimous, it was not.
"Enough of this, not sure if most people really care about this 12-hour controversy. But what you should care about is the character of the candidate for Sheriff. Dennis Stuart or his supporters have repeatedly inferred that “this administration”, neither cares about his employees or their families, incorporates lies and innuendos in their articles and basically has initiated a negative campaign tactic, that unfortunately can work if not held accountable for their words and actions.
"There are just too many other important issues to worry about, drugs/ opiate addiction, mental health to name a few. What you need is a Sheriff that can see the need, research the need and then address the need all with professionalism, honesty and without embellishing the facts. Mike Richter is that person.
"As I said, I do not have a dog in the fight, I am not a candidate. I have always considered Dennis Stuart my friend, not sure what the future will hold now, however. I will not sit idly by though while I or the administrators in my office are attacked with lies and misinformation. No matter what our personal relationship may hold in the future, you can rest assured I will never let anything interfere with our professional relationship and that I will continue to help and assist his and other departments in our fields of responsibilities. Thank you for letting me be your Sheriff for the past 28 years. As of right now 275 days, 9 hours, 36 min and 8 seconds but who is counting. God Bless you all."
Sheriff Terry Dryden