Thursday, October 14, 2010

Courier-Journal Endorses Rod Seelye for Sheriff

In case you missed it, the editorial board of the Courier-Journal (normally known for its knee-jerk endorsements of Democrats and liberals) has endorsed Rod Seelye for Sheriff in Harrison County.

This may be the first time that this newspaper has ever made an endorsement in a race in Harrison County, let alone endorse a Republican.

Here is the article in today’s Courier-Journal:

Anyone who thinks of Corydon, Ind., seat of Harrison County, as some kind of sleepy Hoosier Mayberry should think again. The county, which is situated a bit less than an hour southwest of Louisville, is rife with problems, many of which relate to drugs.

For the last decade, Mike Deatrick has been the county's sheriff, and the department has been riven with problems. The sheriff himself was indicted on 10 felony counts resulting from charges of sexual misconduct and obstruction of injustice.

Meanwhile, three of his officers have been arrested for allegedly abusing an African-American jail inmate, and Indiana State Police are investigating the death of a woman inmate last month. A Harrison County grand jury is probing the death of an ex-county jail commander who killed herself after arguing with her husband, a patrolman.

So, no, this is no Mayberry.

Seeking to clean up Harrison County are two experienced and able lawmen.

Gary Gilley, the Democrat, is a former chief deputy to Sherriff Deatrick. He says he was demoted when he ran afoul of improper behavior requested by the chief. He has extensive experience with drug investigations and arrests, and he proposes a number of improvements for the department. But he is a part of it.

His opponent, Republican Rod Seelye, is a retired Louisville police officer who moved to Corydon five years ago. He has been working as a narcotics detective in Meade County in Kentucky.

We're disappointed his campaign imported Joe Arpaio, the law-and-order Arizona sheriff who has earned a national reputation for his ham-handed views on immigration. Mr. Arpaio had his deputies checking the status of people who looked like they might be undocumented — even before Arizona passed that outrageous law.

Still, Mr. Seelye's credentials indicate that he would be fair-minded, and he confirms that.

Either of these candidates would be an improvement over the current occupant. However, we recommend that it's time for fresh blood — meaning Mr. Seelye — to come in and shake Harrison County's law enforcement upside down.

Congratulations to Rod on this endorsement.

As great (and unprecedented) as this endorsement is, it’s important to remember that this election isn’t about what folks in Louisville think of our sheriff’s department.

It’s about what we here in Harrison County think of our sheriff’s department, how we want it to be cleaned up, and how we want our sheriff’s department and our jail to be run.

The cleanup starts on November 2.