Posted: Saturday, June 30th 2012 at 1:20pm
Packed house hears Hall Sheriff's candidate debate
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - A packed house in Gainesville's Georgia Mountains Center theatre Saturday morning came to listen to what five Hall County Sheriff's candidates had to say in a Hall Republican Party hosted debate.
Gerald Couch, Chuck Hewett, John Sisk, Jeff Strickland and Jon P. Strickland, all former law officers, fielded questions for two hours about their level of experience, how they would protect the public, uphold ethics and morale, and run the Sheriff's Department, among other topics.
Toward the end of the debate Hewett, in his summation, started listing what he considered alleged department infractions.
“These are the things we need to fix and you can hide them all you want to, Hewett said.”When you are honest with people, you don’t have anything to hide.”
Hewett's accusations included jail inmate mistreatment and unfair employee dismissals. Jeff Strickland, who resigned as Chief Deputy to run for Sheriff,said after the forum he would not respond to Hewett's remarks which amounted to mudslinging.
Hewett promised he would be honest and above board with everyone. He would support transparency, fairness and an open door policy. All the other candidates promised the same things and all of them touted their long experience with law enforcement and the Sheriff’s Department as credentials for seeking and winning the prized office.
Hewett’s question about candidate Jon P. Strickland’s experience drew a response from Strickland. Hewett said Strickland’s 18 years of law enforcement service had 'turned into 30 years'. Strickland said he had a total of 30 years of public service in law enforcement and other areas including driver’s education.
Party chairman Chris Yardley conducted the debate and read the questions. He said the Sheriff’s race is the county’s most heavily contested with only a month from the July 31st primary.
“It’s definitely one of those races everybody is interested in,” Yardley said. “They want to know who is going to be the next sheriff, and which direction law enforcement is going to take.”
© Copyright 2013 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.