Sheriff’s disgrace |

Sheriff’s disgrace

Don Rogers

An e-mail came a week or so ago, and we filed it with all the other obviously too-wacky-to-be-true messages we’ve been receiving since the Kobe Bryant case broke.

Yes, we try to check these out, as we can get to them, but these are the ones too weird to be plausible. You know, the messages asserting big payoffs to drop the charges, the woman backing out, the prosecutors getting fed up, the infamous “couple upstairs” who got one of the local papers to bite on the obvious hoax, plea bargains, elaborate schemes of entrapment, supposed evidence, and on and on.

As you know, some of the very wackiest stuff has proven to be true, as evidence revealed in the preliminary hearing showed all too clearly.

Still, the assertion that a substantial part of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office had ordered T-shirts with a hanging man in front and derogatory statements about Bryant was too much to be credible. These folks couldn’t be that stupid. No way. Unbelievable.

Well, believe it.

Fox News got a hold of e-mails between a Sheriff’s Office employee who took orders for 76 T-shirts of varying sizes and ran a story Wednesday.

The Daily picked it up for today, yes belatedly, tracked down the e-mails and took in an explanation from Sheriff Joe Hoy than can only be described as strange.

Wednesday, he said it was a putative attempt at a fund-raiser for abuse victims. Huh? As if his office buying hangman T-shirts dissing Bryant while running an investigation were somehow proper if they were having the money donated.

Tuesday, Sheriff Hoy told Fox News he didn’t care if his employees ordered the shirts, since they could say and wear whatever they wanted off-duty. (Apparently judges’ orders against law enforcement folks expressing personal opinions about Bryant’s guilt or innocence have little standing with this crew.)

This ought to fill the citizenry with confidence in the professionalism of Sheriff Hoy’s department.

In a word, wow. We won’t even bother getting into the fact that the e-mails ordering the shirts came from the SO itself during the workday from an employee on her sheriff’s e-mail address. Or the seeming dissonance of the enthusiastic e-mails that mention nothing supporting the sheriff’s explanations.

Whatever the explanation, this lack of judgment is breathtaking. Frankly, it plummets right through the basement of “judgment.”

This is an absolute disgrace.

Support Local Journalism