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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's going on with the Sheriff's Department??

     In Howard County we expect civility and competence in our elected officials and for the most part that is what we get.   We watch other counties deal with political scandal and incompetence and wonder if an elected official in Howard County could ever get away with that here.  The past couple of weeks we may have had that question answered.  In a report by the Office of Human Rights  the behavior of the Howard County Sheriff Jim Fitzgerald has been described as one of intimidation and discrimination to some of the Office employees.  This has lead to a call from the present and former County Executives and the County Council asking the Sheriff to resign.
      This situation caused me to remember an experience I had as a County employee many years ago.  Starting in the 1980's and 1990's many companies and organizations started holding trainings on sexual harassment.   As sexual harassment cases became more numerous insurance companies started charging higher rates or denying coverage to companies unless they did these trainings and having written policies for handling claims of harassment.  I attended one of these trainings held by the County Government.  At this training there were employees from many of the different County departments.  The employees attending took the topic seriously and the questions asked were directed in the typical directions you would expect.  There was one exception to this behavior and that was from a supervisor from the Sheriff's Department.   His comments showed that he didn't take the issue seriously and his attempts to make humorous remarks fell flat with the trainer and the others attending the training.   During a break in the training many of the people attending the training couldn't help but comment on inappropriate attitude of the Sheriff Department supervisor.  During the past week it seems to me that not much has changed in the Sheriff Department in the 20 plus years since that training.  Howard County deserves much better.

P.S.
    Sheriff says that he will not resign.


P.S.1
     Interestingly in doing Google searches for this blog post I found out that we are not the only Howard County who has had a problem with their sheriff

#hocomd



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