Press-Republican

Opinion

September 13, 2013

In My Opinion: Carrying out lawful duties

I read in amazement the Sept. 6 Press-Republican article entitled “Officials berate sheriff on staff’s duties.”

Let me preface this by saying this response is based solely on the information contained within the article.

The article explains the apparent disdain the Franklin County Legislature has of the Sheriff’s Department for conducting a portion of their lawful duties — this particularly when it concerned an elected official.

The sheriff is an elected position, the same as the County Legislature.

As this elected body of individuals, Franklin County legislators should certainly be aware, as they are empowered to enact laws, that the laws are presumably for the betterment and/or protection of their constituents.

When they enact laws, do they feel they themselves are exempt from them? Obviously, this would be ludicrous.

In the same context, Legislator Smith would be no more exempt from the laws of the state of New York than any of his constituents are. The process is the same for him as anyone else: On offense is purportedly committed, an investigation is conducted, a charge is filed, and a procedure ensues wherein ultimately a judge and/or jury decides the outcome.

Mr. Smith is but a small portion of the concern I have. What I am, and all citizens should be, enraged with is that it appears a legislative body quite apparently feels themselves above the law.

It is reported that one of the legislators felt the need to shout his displeasure to the sheriff in public session. For this individual to state, as in the article, that the sheriff has “run amok” of the County Legislature shows the true arrogance of politics. He reportedly chastised the sheriff for following New York State Corrections Law as he is required to.

It appears that it is difficult for some individuals to differentiate between the law that applies to all and what they simply feel like doing.

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