Letter To The Editor The N&R Wouldn't Publish
Here's the letter:
The blog referred to in the Letter is at BJ's site here.
On Saturday, March 18th, 2006,
Sheriff B. J. Barnes posted a blog entry on his website critical of political candidates posting campaign signs that do not conform to legal standards. To quote the blog, "The amazing thing is the number of signs being put up by the folks running for Sheriff who are putting them up illegally. Each candidate is given the rules and regulations."” As a retired law enforcement officer with over 30 years of experience, I am keenly aware of the responsibility of those who are sworn to uphold the law to not place themselves above the law. By his own admission, as a candidate, Sheriff Barnes has been given the "rules and regulations"”, yet a drive through Guilford County reveals that he has chosen to place himself above the law by displaying illegal campaign signs. Is this due to Sheriff Barnes lack of experience as a law enforcement officer, or has he simply become a hypocritical, jaded politician who has placed himself above the law? A response to a recent question may provide the answer. When the Sheriff was questioned about my concerns about the method in which he decided to deploy tasers in middles schools, his reply was "“whatever"”. The public that pays the six-figure salary of Guilford County '’s highest ranking law-enforcement official deserves better. They deserve an experienced law enforcement officer as Sheriff that will take the issues seriously, that will put professionalism ahead of politics, and that will not place himself above the law. Guilford County
Sheriff Guilford County
In the last election for Sheriff, BJ's campaign filed complaints about Berkley on this same issue, and now they are breaking the law. Berkley admitted to the signs last election and says that he now knows the law and follows it. He was unaware of this regulation at the time.
The Blanks campaign also informed me that they have a Guilford County resident willing to swear to affidavit that BJ personally told him "You make signs bigger then they are allowed, frame them, make them mobile and then when someone complains you have 15 days to move them. Then simply place them elsewhere in the county and wait for someone to complain again, then you have another 15 days."
Maybe the problem is the law. If the 15 day grace period was not there, and you had to pay fines for breaking the regulations, none of this nonsense would occur.
Negligence of the law is never an excuse, blatantly breaking the law as the sitting Sheriff of Guilford County is despicable.
I will have more on BJ in the next week, with my long talked about interview that I had with him a few months back that included a personal tour of the jail downtown.