Thursday, January 19, 2012
SHOULD HENRY LOOK IN THE MIRROR
More and more evidence points to a Henry Patterson led sheriff’s department that has spent countless hours and an unimaginable amounts of money investigating itself and other employees within the local criminal justice system. Three extremely long years and one month of rarely hearing a word from the man we elected sheriff, but hearing way too much about the problems he is either causing or he is unable to solve within his department.
What smells a great deal like part two of the Joe Warren debacle surfaced yesterday as we all had a chance to get ill over the idea that Patterson’s infamous rogue investigators have chased the escapades of Chip Fairchild out of the sheriff’s department and now through the phone lines of the Liberty Police Department. Liberty Dispatch has heard troubling reports about Chip, Terry, and Russell Fairchild for years now and we have no intention of defending him. But we will defend the taxpayer if this is exposes us to needless expenses and possible lawsuits.
The one thing we can determine from yesterday’s news is that Robert Valdez and the Outsiders are still looking for criminals. But in whose name are they doing this work? The taxpayer would benefit by an audit of Sheriff Henry Patterson’s slush fund so it can be determined whether or not the Outsiders rogue investigations are being paid for with taxpayer money. That is important for accountability purposes and for legal reasons since they have bragged about investigations long before they had claims to be an internet blog covering the news. But it also has importance because these people have sent out an estimated 250 Open Records Requests. If they are working for the sheriff and causing the employees of different local government departments to spend thousands of hours responding to all of these requests then Patterson needs to be held accountable.
An effective sheriff’s department works with the D.A. and the County Attorney and other departments and seldom if ever has to use the Open Records Act within their own local justice system. Patterson needs to explain to the public why he has to do things in such an unconventional matter. Look at the recent past. He hires people like Steve Green and for more than two years has Green hold his thumb on the necks of many of the deputies as he searches for inappropriate behavior in the department. Green’s less than encouraging personality wears the morale of the department down but the eyes of the top brass in the sheriff’s department continue to focus inward looking for but never reporting any internal affairs problems. After a couple of years Patterson boots Fairchild from the sheriff’s department to a few blocks down the road at the Liberty Police Department. Not long afterward, Terry Fairchild, Chip’s wife, goes from the sheriff’s department to the D.A.’s office.
At the same time all of that was going on, Liberty Dispatch was listening to one of Henry’s people we sometimes refer to as “Chatterbox” and he was opining about Henry Patterson having had Steve Green under surveillance for years. So Green is being paid to watch deputies the sheriff does not trust and Green himself is being watched by others being paid to watch him. And we surmise Sheriff Patterson feels he can’t trust the D.A. or the County Attorney or the District Judges because at one time or another Chatterbox has intimated that they are all under the watchful eye of the Outsiders.
Liberty Dispatch has been the chief advocate for a thorough and complete investigation of Chip and Terry and Russell, but we have also been the most outspoken critics of the Outsiders. If this is going to be another bungled unprofessional investigation done mostly by people who the public can not even see a picture of, much less know how much they are being paid and if they are indeed properly licensed to do this kind of work, then please spare us the drama.
Sheriff Patterson seems to have unsuccessfully looked for crimes and misbehavior within his department. It is time to have someone else take care of the Fairchild problem while an investigation of Henry Patterson and the Outsiders is done. Both investigations it would seem are in the public interests. The public deserves a sheriff who is effective and who does not hire one set of eyeballs to watch another set of eyeballs that is watching another set of eyeballs in an endless circle of suspicion with no conclusion in sight.
Perhaps if Henry looks in the mirror he will find the person that is most responsible for the misuse of public funds and the person the most inhibiting the work of the sheriff’s department more than any other person.