Of course, being Sheriff Patterson’s communication director is not the worst job in the world. But for all the power a communication director has when his boss is constantly missing in action, there is also pressure. It is difficult to lead when you don’t have the title and Patterson has the title but refuses to lead. His idea of leadership is inviting people to ask questions at one of his daily breakfasts in Cleveland – breakfasts where he has been surrounded by an almost ex officio Sheriff’s cabinet made up of some real characters from outside of Liberty County that are as unqualified as they are unpublicized.
A review of two different newsworthy items reveals the dilemma. When i-dineout.com editor had his fill of press releases coming out of the LCSO taking credit for things they didn’t do and exaggerating the LCSO’s role, he expressed no beef with the hard working deputies. He was exasperated by Sheriff Patterson and his public relations officer, Steve Green and more recently Rex Evans. The press releases must have appeared to i-dineout the same way they did to others – like “Re-elect Sheriff Patterson news releases”. So much so that it seems i-dineout decided to draw a line in the sand and force Patterson to recognize he needed to step up to the plate and be more forthcoming. But Patterson decided to continue to lead from the shadows.
In the absence of what should have been a simple statement from Patterson, or a responsive press release regarding questions about arrests made at multiple meth lab crime scenes, i-dineout expressed doubts about how truthful the press releases were coming out of the LCSO. Liberty Dispatch has been at odds with i-dineout for years, but the truthfulness of Patterson’s press releases has been a subject of some doubt by a great many people, not just i-dineout.
Rather than respond and tell the people that pay his salary more about the meth lab busts, his spokesman at the time, Steve Green, gets all bogged down in what he can legally withhold and all of the processes involved in PIA’s (Public Information Act ). Rather than Patterson step forward and explain what he could and then explain that until the appropriate time the rest of the details would be withheld pending investigation, Green did what he did much of the time he was in charge of communications for Patterson. He stonewalled.
And GUESS WHO has come to his defense? THE OUTSIDERS! - Which by the way tends to corroborate everything we have been saying about Patterson’s relationship to these “Outsider” people. The same people who refer us to Patterson’s breakfast when we have asked for Patterson to show the public the money trail in and out of the slush fund he has control of from seizures. So they seem to really be defending a process that makes the Sheriff unaccountable and protects them from any revelations of being paid for their services through the slush fund. Patterson should begin by telling the media what his relationship is to Eddie Shauberger and Fuddy Williams, and follow that up with evidence that no money or any other form of payment has been given to them.
The same dynamics could have happened to Liberty Dispatch as did i-dineout when we questioned the press release the LCSO did about two large marijuana fields. We knew Shauberger was bragging that the Outsiders and Patterson felt like the news of two large seizures of pot all but ended any chance that Patterson would not be re-elected. As they celebrated we tossed out a very simple question: “why did the Sheriff arrest pot plants and fail to arrests pot growers?’
(Reference: Eddie Shauberger went to school with Allen Youngblood and is the main source of Intel for Liberty County related information given to“The Outsiders”)
After asking the above question that we were sure was on the minds of many of the citizens of Liberty County, we awaited for some kind of sensible response, something like i-dineout got, but without the ridiculous delay and stalling. Something like- “several arrests have been made and due to the possibility of more arrests, we are withholding the names.” But no arrests were made!
Even if arrest were made later, why wouldn’t Patterson have ‘initially’ set up surveillance and arrested some of the criminals when they came to the pot fields? What was the LCSO’s response? The Outsiders response was, “Who says that was Henry’s case?”
So, the press releases that were supposed to insure Patterson’s re-election were now reduced to “It may have been some other law enforcement agency that actually did the work”...?
As was said before, it is rare for us to empathize with i-dineout, but these Outsiders and associates are promoting Sheriff Patterson and their relationship to him and the LCSO should concern anyone who believes in open government. These people have unabashedly promoted themselves as our protectors as they have slung mud on private citizens and said they will replace all of the judges we elected 23 months ago.
Being Sheriff Patterson’s communication director is a difficult position, has its perks- a lot of breakfast fellowship and a huge vacuum you get to fill on your own. But it also has the tap dancing that comes when you just can’t say certain things.