Thursday, May 5, 2011

Talking Turkey About Sheriff Ronnie Willis

Since before the last election, we've received several, indeed many, communications concerning Lauderdale County Sheriff Ronnie Willis. Obviously no elected official will please his entire constituency, but complaints seem to be escalating against Willis and what many deem his unfair and illegal hiring practices.

Long time office manager/administrative assistant Betty Hooks has just retired from the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, as have one or two others. Sheriff Willis apparently has complete control over whom is employed to replace Ms. Hooks. Nancy Sartain, someone the good sheriff finds more vocationally attractive than other more experienced applicants, has been chosen.

While we're sure Mrs. Sartain has many good points, apparently college courses are not part of them. Until her appointment as office manager, Sartain was a part time employee with only a standing of one year.
Sartain was hired by the LCSO as a clerk in the summer of 2010.

Three other applicants had over four years experience, but not all have continual experience with the LCSO. One has been with the LCSO approximately 10 years, another about six, and the third about four years. One of the three has a total of over 20 years experience working in various law enforcement and judicial clerk positions. In all, many applicants were more qualified to fill the vacancy left by Ms. Hooks' retirement. Nancy Sartain has the least experience of any applicant.

Will the scorned applicant(s) file a discrimination suit? We understand that this is still undecided. Will Nancy Sartain make a competent office manager? Many who have no official degrees have the intelligence and determination to make excellent employees--so until her probationary period of 90 days ends, we'll contend that judgment should be reserved until that time.

We will say that many in power in well run companies and agencies place personal opinion aside when hiring. It should not be a popularity contest, but a decision based on who will perform best in a very critical position.

Related post: Qualifications for Ronnie Willis' Administrative Assistant


We've received two e-mails from Derek Logue, a former Sheffield resident who calls himself a sex offender advocate. Logue now resides in Cincinnati where he continues to spout his rhetoric of misunderstood child molesters. One of his emails to us was a link to his blog in which he compares himself to Charlie Sheen. We'll leave our reading audience free to make their own jokes about that.

The second email arrived via an Internet service that immediately deletes the content once it has been read. Apparently Logue has never heard of a snipping tool--he may be Charlie Sheen, but he's obviously not Bill Gates. In this correspondence Logue states he's only sorry that the recent tornadoes didn't destroy all the Shoals. We won't publish the entire contents of the email here since it contains some dubious language, but we will certainly retain it and be happy to send it to anyone having legal issues with Derek Logue.

Yes, sex offender laws need to be reformed--they need to be strengthened.