Sheriff responds to recall attempt-[ 8-11-2010]

Posted in the Parker Forum

EYE OF THE PEOPLE

Parker, AZ

#1 Aug 11, 2010
Sheriff responds to recall attempt

By Joan M. Travis
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 10:31 AM MST

Sheriff Don Lowery has a response on the recall effort spearheaded by Parker resident Joyce Hiatt-Curren.

"First, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the good citizens of this county for having to witness the unnecessary political strife I have encountered since taking office," Sheriff Don Lowery stated.

"First, I am committed to the truth. Second, I run my office in accordance with the needs of the taxpayers and the safety of the community first and foremost. I am not a politician. I am a long-term public servant who has served this community for more than 20 years in good faith.

In the recall statement Hiatt-Curren had seven allegations, which Lowery responds to all.

"The statement I do not have the necessary skills to carry out the duties of this office. As all are aware, I took over this office just as we entered the deepest economic downturn in memory. The economic crisis faced by us all, coupled with a long history of work force related problems inherited by me as I took office, would test the skills of any manager, however, I have risen to this challenge and found outside funding resources-as money is not available at the board level," Lowery said.

He added that he has worked hard to unite an initially divided department.

"The statement I do not work well with the Board of Supervisors is true in some ways. Remember, I am not a politician and personally maintain high moral standards. I refuse to get drawn into pointless infighting," he sated.

"The statement I promoted Undersheriff Paterson who allegedly lacked management skills and micromanaged cannot be farther from the truth. Mr. Paterson served La Paz County Sheriff's Office with distinction for years prior to my taking office," he stressed.

Lowery told the Pioneer that Maj. Rick Paterson stepped down because he didn't want to cause harm to the Sheriff's Office.

The statement that my ability to make command decisions is in question; anyone in life who steps up to the plate and makes decisions is subject to question. I make myself available to the public 24/7, I care about your concerns and I ensure that our efforts are focused on those issues that make the most difference in the realm of public safety. Monday morning quarterbacking is much easier when writing a misguided recall from a perspective that includes limited (if any) law enforcement background. My record stands for itself and I am proud of my accomplishments," he stated.

The statement I have made personnel changes or have not made them to show favoritism toward those loyal to me. I don't want anyone to by loyal to me, but to the office to which I have been provided the honor of holding. Personnel changes made by me have been based purely upon job performance," Lowery said.

The falsehood-I filed a "frivolous lawsuit against the Board of Supervisors. The lawsuit is true; the frivolous part is false. I believe in this cause and have made repeated attempts to work with the board to address the issues underlying this unfortunate state of events to no avail," he said.

And the final falsehood I continuously allow agency staff to travel to and from Lake Havasu City in county vehicles, against county policy and at taxpayer expense. I have two deputies who are joint Narcotic Task Force members who use task force-not county-vehicles to drive at no expense to the county. I have one on-call investigator who takes his vehicle to Havasu-he works 24/7.

Lowery added he's committed to the taxpayers of the county and public safety.

"I will refuse to bow down to political pressure to meet pointless agendas," he concluded.

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