Letters to the Editor

Doesn't support Asher for San Juan County sheriff

I normally don't like "letter wars," but I feel compelled to respond to Deputy Asher's letter, "Asher responds to letter from undersheriff, three others," July 13 SanJuanJournal.com.

Anyone who has ever worked for a large business has had a co-worker who was OK to work with ... but if you were told they were being promoted to run the business, you would have to say "No, that's not a wise decision."

Four San Juan County officers, with over 100 years of combined law enforcement experience, were concerned enough about the future of the Sheriff's Office and San Juan County that they did just that. We made every effort to make it as polite as possible. Deputy Asher's response is very instructive as to why we feel that way.

Deputy Asher said we wrote the letter because we are "afraid." Afraid of change? No, we know change is coming, just as we know that Deputy Asher should not be the one to guide that change. He then says we are afraid of "accountability," implying we have done something wrong, we have been getting away with it under Sheriff Cumming, but that he (Deputy Asher) will hold us "accountable."

He goes on to insult Sheriff Cumming and the entire department by talking about our "inability to catch a single teenage burglar" (the Barefoot Bandit), as if this was the fault of Sheriff Cumming's leadership and lack of effort by the deputies. Apparently, if Deputy Asher had been in charge, Colton Harris-Moore would have been in custody a long time ago.

This is the same rhetoric of implied misdeeds and poor law enforcement skills he tried in his 2002 campaign. When no one listened to this innuendo in that campaign, he finally resorted to accusing Sheriff Cumming, who had honorably served the U.S. in Vietnam, of not being an American citizen. He claimed this made Sheriff Cumming "ineligible" to be sheriff and that he should step down.

It is exactly this type of "management," "leadership" and "world view" that we don't want or need in our next sheriff.

He closes by saying that he won't have his supporters write a counter letter because that would "polarize" the department and "make the job more difficult." Once again, this is Deputy Asher projecting his "world view" on others. I don't have any problems with my co-workers speaking openly and honestly about who they want for sheriff. I hope all of my fellow law enforcement employees will speak to their friends and neighbors about who they feel will best guide the Sheriff's Office through the next four years.

Sgt. Scott Brennan
Friday Harbor

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