Blogger’s Note: While I disagree vehemently with the deputy’s characterization of the KPMG Audit of Riverside County’s Finances, however that is really aside from the main point. We will highlight the key parts for emphasis:
As we conclude our negotiations and are likely to be imposed upon; I noticed a change in demeanor amongst our sergeants and station administrators. More so, as we enter an election year with Sheriff Sniff being challenged by Lieutenant Chad Bianco. Supervision have made it clear that no political discussions are to take place while on duty. No verbal endorsement expressed to the public or campaign signs. Okay, I understand and will comply with these directives. But off-duty advocate for who you support as it is our right free from intimidation to promote the candidate each of believe in.
However, I have over heard a few of our sergeants and lieutenants talking within ear shot about negotiations and what is anticipated to be a very heated election for Sheriff. I concluded that LEMU is concerned how bad a contract they will get and believe KPMG is dictating the course of negotiations with the county’s approval. If I may opine off topic, KPMG is making a lot of money off the backs of all county employees. Really, the Board of Supervisors isn’t intelligent enough to do their own audit in an effort to save money? Instead they pay KPMG millions of dollars…
I have read a lot about rumors in the RSO Reader and wonder where are these rumors were originating from. At my station I never heard of these rumors and frankly don’t care. But since we are on the topic of rumors, I heard Sheriff Sniff directed his captains to speak with their lieutenant have them sign a 3×5 card pledging their support. This rumor quickly became fact when I overheard lieutenants talking about feeling pressured to sign the card. I felt bad for the lieutenants because as an RSA member, I am not intimidated to support anyone, I am just asked to vote on whom to endorse without fear of retaliation. I Guess LEMU is an arm of the Sheriff to do what he wants with, like demand an endorsement.
Another rumor I heard is that those who supported Lieutenant Chad Bianco in past and honorably retired were not afforded a retirement badge. The speculation is that being presented a retirement badge is Sheriff Sniff’s decision to or not to. Well, after 25-30 years of honorable service a retiree should get a badge regardless of the candidate he or she supports. It’s about protecting and serving the community, citizens and our Department. If unfortunate and I apologize for not signing my name, but I don’t want to get transferred from my current station for expressing my opinion as afforded to me under the United States Constitution. I hope you understand my position. As an employee, do you feel you are being intimidated to support Sheriff Sniff? Especially, if you are on the promotional list…Vote who you believe in and keep it to yourself.
This is clear:
- Sniff is strong-arming Lt’s to sign endorsement cards (remember LT’s and Captains are considered “management” thus they are not union members).
- Sniff is retaliating against retirees by withholding common honors from them. This would be similar to not presenting a 20 or 30 year military man with a flag at their retirement ceremony.
- This employee is clearly fearful of intimidation and is also clear he has seen others get forcibly transferred to worse duty stations.
Now ask yourself, how can Sheriff Sniff be an effective Sheriff with this kind of culture? Perhaps this is why crime is spiking up significantly in Riverside County.