Ahlemann "Willing to openly discuss the issues that leave my opponents ducking for cover"
This story from the FRONT PAGE of yesterday's Post - along with the Loudoun Times-Mirror, certainly among the area's foremost political advocacy organizations - deserves thoughtful comment which I unfortunately am not yet in a position to provide.
(Day jobs are a killer, and this is one of the periodic weeks when I can't break away to do a lot of "free" work such as this blog surely can be.)
But I will try and get to it late tonight.
Just on the facts contained in the article it should have raised eyebrows among careful readers about what exactly the reporter, Brubaker, or his editors were trying to accomplish. It should also raise SERIOUS questions about why anyone would trust either of the old guys running for this office. More later ....
In the meantime, below the fold is a response from the Greg Ahlemann camp.
Ahlemann: “In the race for Loudoun County’s next Sheriff, where integrity and honesty matter more to me than my own political gain, I have once again shown that I am willing to openly discuss the issues that leave my opponents ducking for cover…”
Leesburg, VA – October 29, 2007, Republican Nominee for Loudoun County Sheriff, Greg Ahlemann, held a press conference at the Loudoun County Government Center with print and television media to address questions about his stance on the issues of officer discretion and the debates surrounding an officers’ ability to reject and dismiss tickets.
In recent interviews with print and television media, including today’s press conference, Ahlemann spoke frankly and truthfully about the practices of officer discretion among law enforcement officials. In particular, Ahlemann noted that, “It is common knowledge that many law enforcement jurisdictions allow their officers the latitude and opportunity to use their good judgment in determining which traffic offenses are ticketed and which are not.” Ahlemann continued, “When it comes to writing tickets, there is generally no exclusion against officers using their discretion to issue, or not issue, tickets.”
When asked about Ahlemann’s own use of discretion to dismiss tickets, Ahlemann indicated that “certainly there have been instances where I have dismissed tickets.” Ahlemann continued, “For example, I have given a break to individuals who have had the most minor traffic infraction and moving violations, such as going a few miles over the speed limit. However, I have never given anyone a break when they are involved in any driving hazard that rises to criminal charges like DWI or DUI.”
In stark contrast to Ahlemann’s candor on the issue of officer discretion and the dismissal of tickets, Democrat Mike George and Independent Stephen Simpson both made their best attempts to put on their best face on the issue. George emphatically stated to The Washington Post that in all his years of service, he “never fixed a ticket.” Simpson conveniently forgot whether or not during his many years of service as a law enforcement officer he had ever dismissed a ticket stating simply, “I don’t recall.” [The Washington Post, Oct 28, 2007, “Sheriff Hopeful in VA Says He Dismissed Tickets”]
Ahlemann is not surprised by his opponents comments on these subjects and stated that, “In the race for Loudoun County’s next Sheriff, where integrity and honesty matter more to me than my own political gain, I have once again shown that I am willing to openly discuss the issues that leave my opponents ducking for cover as they continue to make statements ripe with half-truths in an unscrupulous attempt to win them votes.”
Ahlemann continued, “I can tell you with great certainty that Simpson is not being truthful on that matter. In fact, Simpson has come to me personally while I was still at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and he asked me directly to ‘fix’ tickets that he wanted to go away because of his relationship to the individuals that I’d issued a citation to. It’s appalling to me, that as the leader of the current Sheriff’s Office administration, Simpson would aim to deceive the public by his attempts to suggest that he has never ‘fixed’ a ticket.”
As the election season draws to its close in just over a week in the contest for Loudoun County’s next Sheriff, the Ahlemann for Sheriff Campaign reminds voters that it’s important for the Sheriff to be transparent and honest; and that matters involving officer discretion and the latitude officers have to dismiss tickets should be as open a discussion as any.
The Ahlemann For Sheriff Campaign also points out that Ahlemann’s openness in discussing officer discretion and the dismissal of tickets is not unlike his openness in discussing the sometimes more charged, controversial subjects such as illegal immigration. Ahlemann has continued to maintain a consistent message on bringing Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) training to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office while his opponents have waffled and flip-flopped repeatedly over the past months on this issue allowing the political winds to toss them to and fro. Ahlemann added that, “Political expediency continues to motivate my opponents. Whether it is their position on the use of officer discretion, the need for ICE training, the issue of tax-payer funded day labor sites in Loudoun, my opponents have continued to shift their positions as they see the political landscape shift. This is not leadership.”
Ahlemann closed by stating that, “I’m proud of my record of service to Loudoun County because I have helped to make our communities and neighborhoods safer. As your next Sheriff, I will remain committed to taking a pro-active approach to keeping our roads and highways safe. I also will continue to empower Loudoun County’s finest men and women in law enforcement to carry forth their responsibilities by practicing good judgment, officer discretion and care.”
For more information, contact the Ahlemann for Sheriff Campaign Office by phone at 571-223-7661 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at www.AhlemannForSheriff.com
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