Haywood County Sheriff

Earlier this month, long-time Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander, in a surprise move to many, announced his retirement effective February 2.  Since his term expires in 2010, it is up to the county's Democrat Executive Committee to name a replacement.

Local attorney Bill Jones, the county's party chair, along with the executive committee, has set up a process for the Executive Committe to do its job.  Potential candidates submitted their resumes to Mr. Jones earlier this week.  An open forum will be held Saturday, January 24, for candidates to make their pitches and answer questions from Executive Committee members.  Balloting will be held on Saturday, February 7, with each precinct having one vote for every 100 votes cast for Gov. Perdue in November.

The Asheville Citizen-Times listed the following candidates:

-- Albert Allen, a retired N.C. Highway Patrol trooper who lost a bid for sheriff in 2002 to Alexander.
-- Raymond Ezell, a retired U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent.
-- Russell Gilliland, a Maggie Valley Police Department officer.
-- Ken Hollifield, a truck driver for Estes Express Lines in Asheville and former N.C. Highway Patrol trooper.
-- Bobby Suttles, chief deputy of the Haywood County Sheriff's Office.

Those of us who take on precinct chairmanships often do that simply so the roster will be filled out.  But this circumstance demonstrates the real responsibility that goes with having one's name on the list.  Let's hope that we in Haywood County can fufill our responsibilities faithfully as we make this decision.

Comments

Any ideas as to why he's retiring early?

is there some sort of legal case pending or is he just "tired"?

Retirement reasons

Officially, he has said that he thought about not running in 2006, but wanted to oversee completion of our new county law enforcement facility.  Now he says he's ready to spend more time with his family.

However, Alexander's name has come up in the investigation and trial of former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford related to video poker machines.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Update

I was unable to attend Saturday's Haywood Democrat Executive Committee forum for the candidates for sheriff to make presentations and answer questions. However, I understand from some who attended that the forum lasted several hours and was well-attended.

Scuttlebutt has current Chief Deputy Bobby Suttles and retired state trooper Albert Allen as the front-runners for the post. I'll try to update this with more comments as I'm around town this week and next, in preparation for the HCDP Executive Committee vote on February 7.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR