The Ada County Commissioners had many robust questions for the hopefuls for Ada County Sheriff on Wednesday afternoon.
Within the wake of the sudden resignation of Sheriff Steve Bartlett, the Ada County Republican Central Committee named three possible successors: Doug Traubel, Mike Chilton, and Matt Clifford. All three candidates stood earlier than the three elected commissioners and a packed home to speak prison justice reform, the idea of a “Constitutional Sheriff,” and management this week earlier than the three commissioners are set to make a remaining choice Friday.
The chosen candidate will serve for a 12 months and need to run for election in 2022 earlier than working once more for a full four-year time period in 2024 in the event that they select to proceed.
BoiseDev listened to all three interviews, and listed below are some highlights from every so as of every candidate’s look earlier than the board.
Traubel previously labored for the Ada County Sheriff’s Workplace from 1994 by 2003 when he transferred to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Workplace to work as an investigator. He left the county in March 2019 and has been “semi-retired” since that point.
Proper off the bat, commissioners raised considerations about Traubel’s writing on political issues, which incorporates revealed articles, posts on social media, and a guide he revealed.
Republican Commissioner Rod Beck and Democrat Commissioner Kendra Kenyon each learn excerpts from his writings, which included feedback calling single moms “not economically viable items that require state assist,” allegations about numbers of rapes dedicated in opposition to white ladies by Black males, and commentary calling Jewish individuals a “villainous and bloodthirsty ruling class of the Soviet Union.” Traubel admitted a few of his writing was “provocative,” and maybe he may have been extra cautious in stating his opinions, however he stood behind all of it and what he referred to as his analysis strategies.
“Everybody has their very own private politics and preferences, however my distinction is I put on mine on my sleeve,” Traubel stated. “My professionalism trumps any preferences I’ve. I’ve by no means handled anyone in another way. It’s been mirrored over and time and again in my evaluations.”
When Kenyon requested him to again up his estimation that fifty% of rape allegations are false, he couldn’t present a supply “off the highest of my head.”
Later within the interview, Traubel described his management model as a mixture of “authoritarian” and collaborative, relying on the scenario. He informed the commissioners he believes the sheriff is the last word authority in any county as a result of the place is called within the US Structure, giving him the authority to supersede actions and orders given by different companies, just like the Boise Police Division.
He gave a hypothetical instance the place if the Mayor of Boise informed the Boise Police Chief to permit Black Lives Matter protesters to destroy downtown Boise, he would intervene.
“If they’re standing down when they need to be defending life and property, if management from the mayor is telling these officers to face down and let downtown be destroyed in that state of affairs, that’s demoralizing for the officers,” he stated. “I’d step in and name these officers beneath my command even and do the best factor. We can not let this slip into Seattle and Portland.”
Traubel stated the choice to go away the county was “mutual” as a result of his political writings turned bolder after he certified for early retirement. In response to a query, he informed the commissioners he had by no means been positioned on administrative depart. Then, he informed the commissioners the county’s social media coverage led to him being let go.
“I used to be violating the social media coverage, as soon as I learn it,” he admitted. “I used to be endorsed on that and I used to be despatched house with pay after which I resigned.”
He acquired a prolonged standing ovation from a number of dozen viewers members.
Chilton labored for the Ada County Sheriff’s Workplace from 1994 to 2010. He ran in opposition to coroner Dotti Owens, a Democrat, in 2014. Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson and Republican former Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney endorsed Owens over Chilton throughout that race.
Within the final eleven years he has been out of legislation enforcement, he has been an teacher educating highschool and School of Western Idaho college students about legislation enforcement and working his enterprise, All American Investments.
Chilton has been out of legislation enforcement for greater than a decade, however he stated he stored sturdy ties with the group and has acquired an outpouring of assist from deputies within the division texting him their assist for his candidacy for Sheriff. Republican Commissioner Ryan Davidson inspired him to inform his supporters to ship these letters to the fee to allow them to monitor the assist, however Chilton didn’t suppose this was an excellent plan of action.
“There’s one thing unfair about that,” he stated. “The cabal that has managed Ada County for 3 and a half a long time remains to be there so I feel lots of people could be hesitant to (categorical their assist) publicly.”
Chilton was additionally the one candidate of the three who declined to ship in a waiver permitting for the commissioners to conduct a full background test. He stated three totally different attorneys reviewed the waiver and he objected to it as a result of it could “dox every part to the general public.”
“I’m not against letting you have a look at all personnel investigations, however don’t dox it to the general public in 2021 once we reside in a world the place ANTIFA and BLM present up,” he stated. “A former fee was very involved that folks confirmed up at her home. Probably you might have these individuals exhibiting up at my buddies, household and enterprise associations. The quantity of knowledge you might be placing out to the general public is regarding to me.”
In response to some questions from Davidson on prison justice reform and jail capability, Chilton stated he wish to sluggish the variety of minor offenders arrested and put behind bars whereas they await trial. He additionally opposed civil asset forfeiture, which is the observe of legislation enforcement officers taking property from individuals suspected of being concerned in prison exercise.
“If we lock each low-level prison up at $50,000 a 12 months, I don’t ever see the tip to this,” he stated. “We should always focus on the violent criminals in our society… We have to reimagine the best way the sheriff’s workplace and legislation enforcement works.”
He acquired a scattering of applause from the viewers.
Clifford is the one candidate at the moment working in legislation enforcement and serves because the Eagle Police Chief beneath Ada County’s contract with the town. He began on the sheriff’s workplace in 2000 when he began as a jail deputy and later labored as a patrol deputy, patrol sergeant, Okay-9 handler, and on the inmate transport workforce.
In his opening remarks, he informed the commissioners he was a part of inside discussions with Bartlett and a small group of different sheriff’s workplace staff to put out a succession plan to the sheriff’s workplace. Clifford met with Barlett six days earlier than he introduced his sudden retirement final month to debate him probably working for Sheriff in 2024 if Bartlett selected to not serve one other time period.
He acknowledged that Ada County’s Sheriff has usually been a candidate from contained in the workplace over outsider candidates. Clifford stated it’s because the company recruits employees members with management qualities and prepares them for the chance to run the company and supervise its lots of of staff.
“The sheriff’s workplace does have the higher candidate as a result of we determine management and we prepare for that,” he stated. “You’ve bought individuals who educated for the job, so that you’re going to beat out the individuals who didn’t.”
In response to questions from Beck and Davidson about obligatory minimal sentencing, Clifford informed the commissioners he thought Idaho and the county ought to proceed to construct drug remedy packages and different initiatives to maintain individuals out of jail and prisons. Nonetheless, he needed to maintain Idaho’s tradition of sturdy punishments for crimes.
“Once I speak to officers from California and Colorado, I say ‘that is unlawful right here’ they usually say ‘effectively not the place I’m from, we simply need to allow them to do this as a result of they received’t prosecute it anymore’,” Clifford stated.
“I used to be watching the information they usually have been speaking about Seattle and the tents exterior the companies. And I believed that’s Downtown Seattle with all of those good retailers and eating places after which there’s tents alongside the sidewalk with a man capturing heroin in his tent. How can we grow to be that? I feel Idaho has made it pretty recognized we’re not going to try this.”
Beck requested Clifford about how he would deal with a hypothetical scenario the place the constitutional rights of Ada County residents have been being violated by the federal authorities, like in a scenario the place AR-15s have been banned, and his company was requested to gather residents’ weapons.
“Folks transfer right here in droves and a giant purpose they transfer right here is to take pleasure in these rights,” he stated. “As a sheriff, I’d promise you I’d use every part in my energy to guard the constitutional rights of the residents of Ada County and to guard the second modification. I want Idaho to remain Idaho.”
He acquired rousing applause and cheers from the packed room, lots of whom wore blue and yellow Matt Clifford for Sheriff stickers.