Letter to the Editor:
There is no point in repeating what Mike copied out of previous news articles, or off the state audit site. The taxpayers of Tama County have been informed already. Procedures and recommendation were followed as it's evident in previous audits. This audit unfolded into what many government agencies think their immune to, and I as Sheriff fell victim to. I personally requested the two state agencies to come in and investigate the Sheriff Office, and made the Board of Supervisors and County Attorney aware. The Sheriff's Office fully cooperated with all request of the Division of Criminal Investigations and State Auditors Office. The State Auditor assisted with implementing tighter, stronger procedures to follow, rather than relying on previous procedures of past administration which was my error. When "T" are crossed and "I" are dotted and checks and balances seem accurate and previous audits pass, it's obvious the system can still be manipulated which I didn't catch and I apologize to the taxpayers.
When I was elected Sheriff, I implemented better shift scheduling of patrol duties which can be verified by comparison of previous shift schedules on file and my shift schedules. Yes, I retained the three deputies on staff after Meskwaki Police took over law enforcement responsibilities on the settlement. We assisted Meskwaki Police numerous times during their transition and still assist them when requested. The Board of Supervisors felt I justified retaining the three deputies, and having the paid reserves. Paid reserves are on call certified law enforcement officers I rely on as needed to do exactly what Mike said; provide the extra coverage in the county, fill in for deputies that take deserved time off. Using paid reserves to do transports of prisoners and court ordered patients keeping full time deputies in the county. I justified this by weighing out the cost of hiring and staffing a budgeted position or using reliable paid reserves at an hourly rate for was less. And we do use volunteer reserves.
Keep in mind my budget, staff wages, expenditures are all made public record. Board of Supervisors minutes and public hearings are public record as well. If I'm not able to justify it, I won't approach the Supervisors for it. That is a standard I've followed for 12 years. Keep in mind also Mike Richardson retired over 12 years ago. The demands of law enforcement change every year. We are doing our best to meet these changes and challenges. It appears Mike is challenging the Board of Supervisors as well.
Mike Richardson questions actions taken against a deputy personal accident. He certainly hasn't done his homework. He questions the 341A. Civil Service violation of the deputies. Mike Richardson certainly hasn't done his home work. If Mike Richardson followed court records regarding the $50,000.00 his answer could have been answered but again he hasn't done his homework. Mike Richardson and candidate Ellenbecker have taken to a negative approach to this campaign with out following up with true factual information. Neither have done their homework.
Jeff Filloon wants to criticize me that I didn't activate the Code Red alert when we assisted the Black Hawk County Sheriff Office and State Patrol with the escaped inmate. Black Hawk County specifically requested I do not activate Code Red and I understood their reasoning.
I'm tired of people criticizing my ability to run the Sheriff's Office when they have no tiddly squat idea of what's going on.
I never professed to be perfect, or wouldn't have errors. I acknowledge a problem and faced it head on. I serve as Sheriff to the best of my ability for everyone in Tama County.
I realize that I and the Sheriff's Office are under the judgment of the public eye daily. I've gained your trust for 12 years as Sheriff and ask you to trust me for another four years.
Dennis P. Kucera
Tama County Sheriff