STERLING SHOULD INVESTIGATE AND CLEAN UP SAINT MARYS SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
TO THE EDITOR:
St Mary’s County has become a county very similar to Charles, Prince Georges, and other counties close enough to Washington, DC to draw ever-growing numbers of residents who work in DC, many for our federal government. Because of their long commutes, they sadly pay little attention to the politicians, law enforcement agencies, Board of Education, and other elected and government employees and where they work. Yet St Mary’s has not advanced far enough through the change process brought on by a change from the old-line county residents and its companion “Good Ole Boy” way of doing things to experience the changes that Charles County has.
This last primary election saw a massive defeat for a poster child of the old “GOOD OLE BOY” way of running St Mary’s County with the crushing ouster of its extended sitting States Attorney in a decisive landslide!
The citizens elected a former Assistant States Attorney who stood up and refused to go along with her boss “Fritz” and his way of handling his employees. Any company with a half-decent Human Resources department would have halted and prevented the things Ms. Sterling refused to go along with under “Fritz” and quit her office rather than sully herself by leaping into the hog-slopping mud hole that was St Mary’s States Attorney’s Office.
Since the landing of the Ark and Dove, the newspapers of St Mary’s County, with the notable exception of ST. MARY’S TODAY & THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY rarely have operated as the public’s eye on their government and elected officials. Instead, they have joined in many times in back rooms and bars as a participant in the “Good Ole Boy” system that has controlled your government and elected officials.
The office of Sheriff has been perhaps one of the worst examples of this system, harking back to the movies of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s depicting rural Southern Sheriff’s Departments where cronyism and relation connections controlled who were the bosses and who were just workers with little to no chance of advancement.
St Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has long seen its Sheriff anointed by the outgoing Sheriff and his command staff, with the anointed one being pledged to “take care of” the outgoing Sheriff’s “people/commanders/or in special positions!” Another term is the Sheriff’s Office has become inbred where decisions are first and foremost vetted against possible diminishing the anointed cabal of “protected” leaders.
The outgoing Sheriff has anointed Captain Hall, who has been subject, according to the outgoing Sheriff, with punishment for failing his duties as officer in charge on a firing range and a round being fired into a house near a sleeping infant.
Of course, after loudly and emphatically promising in forums and news articles repeatedly before his last election campaign, the current outgoing Sheriff stated one of his first acts would be the full and complete release of the Sheriff’s Office investigation of this infamous wild round on the range, Captain Hall’s Punishment, and other past hidden investigations like The Loot Scandal, the theft of building materials by another Captain from the Sheriff’s Property Held control. They converted the seized property for personal use by that Captain and other deputies.
Amongst those records most likely would have been a record that Captain Hall was convicted and served a sentence in a Colorado Jail before coming to St Mary’s County and being hired as a Deputy. One has to wonder if his hiring followed Maryland State Training Commission Rules at the time.
With the coming swearing-in of your new States Attorney, Jaymi Sterling, I would strongly encourage her to open an investigation into the operations, rules, promotion system and how promotions are conducted, and how often these rules, laws, and ethical applications of them are followed by the book, rather than how they want their “boy” to advance, or another who is not one of their “boys” be punished harshly!
It must be done from outside the Sheriff’s Office as it is too deeply involved and incestuous in its operations. Mrs. Sterling would be doing an excellent service to St Mary’s County residents by cleaning up and restoring integrity, order, and honesty to the Sheriff’s Office.