Integrity, trustworthiness are keys

Published 12:38 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

To the editor:

Regarding the letter from the Suffolk constitutional officers supporting Sheriff Raleigh Isaacs’ re-election bid: Their support is unsurprising, but the content of the letter made me irate, and the lies it contained were disheartening.

The sheriff’s son is surely a campaign issue, since he has been charged with five DUIs, three assaults, three refusals to take a Breathalyzer test, two reckless-driving incidents, one drunk in public, one seatbelt violation and one speeding charge. One assault goes back to 1997 and one is as recent as June 2013, but most have occurred within the last three years. He also was a defendant in four cases brought by the commonwealth for warrants in debt.

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All of these cases occurred in Suffolk, and all have resulted only in small fines or dismissals. Those are the ones that can be found. How many charges are there that didn’t make the records? Isaacs is not responsible for his son’s actions, but it could appear he has some influence over the outcome of his son’s cases.

Departmental accreditation is also an issue. Among the benefits of accreditation would be standardized policies and procedures that are reviewed on a regular basis, both internally and externally. These policies would be there to protect the officers and any citizen they come in contact with.

In a recent civic league meeting, Isaacs appeared angry and was confrontational over this matter. Why? Suffolk’s police department is undergoing the process. It would only benefit his agency, his officers and those who live in Suffolk.

But here is what really angers me. Regarding the Western Tidewater Regional Jail, the letter states that Isaacs “made recommendations as to how to deal with the situation” and that it now “appears almost certain the vast majority of those inmates will continue to be housed at WTRJ.”

This is completely untrue. My life is fully involved within this federal agency. I live it every day. I know, and regularly communicate with, those in the position of making decisions regarding federal inmates. Isaacs had no input in this decision, and nothing the local agencies might have suggested was even taken into consideration.

There is still no guarantee these prisoners will remain in WTRJ, and Suffolk voters still could get stuck with the bill for the loss.

Jen Pond provided a copy of her personnel record to the Suffolk News-Herald to prove that her leaving the Suffolk Police Department twice was in no way contributed to her performance and that she, in fact, excelled at her job.

Who does that other than someone who has nothing to hide?

When I vote for a sheriff in my city, I think of the safety of my family, friends and those I pass on the streets every day. I think of an example to be set for our citizens that encompasses integrity, trust, professionalism and leadership. The sheriff should be an amazing example of these traits.

That is why, on Tuesday, I will be posting my vote for Jen Pond.

Shannon Cortez