Live by the shield, die by the shield, that’s what I say.
Rep. Dave Reichert has fashioned a comfy political career out of flashing his badge and campaigning as the “the Sheriff”… the man who took all the credit for tracking down the Green River Killer. But if he’s going to claim his experience running the King County Sheriff’s Office as his primary qualification for representing Washington’s 8th District in Congress, then he owes it to voters to answer questions about his tenure as the county’s top cop.
The Seattle P-I continues its series today, “Conduct Unbecoming”, exposing a history of mismanagement in the Sheriff’s Office, and once again, Reichert refused to cooperate:
Although two lower commanders recommended Saulet be fired, then-Sheriff Dave Reichert decided to suspend him for eight days.
Reichert, now a U.S. congressman, declined to comment.
Throughout the P-I‘s months-long series of investigative reports, Sheriff Reichert has refused to answer questions from reporters, even though he was the man in charge during much of the time covered. It was Reichert who ultimately failed to properly discipline or fire deputies who had committed serious crimes and conduct violations… and as the latest P-I installment reveals today, his lax attitude towards bad cops has cost taxpayers millions. And yet still, Reichert refuses to talk to reporters.
This is totally unacceptable, and our local media should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to let Reichert get away with his shrewd silence.
I don’t blame the P-I reporters covering this growing scandal; the most they can do is continue to badger him and then report his intransigence… and that they have done. But their colleagues at other local media outlets, and the editorialists on their own Op/Ed pages have fallen down on the job.
This is a major story in which Reichert played a major role, and he can’t be allowed to simply escape comment because it is politically inconvenient.
That reporters, columnists and editorialists continue to puff him up by touting Reichert’s experience as Sheriff — and yet refuse to hold him accountable for the job he did in that office — is a disgrace.
If Reichert has nothing to hide he should talk to the press, for voters have a right to know what kind of job he really did as Sheriff. But if he continues to suspiciously maintain his silence, voters have a right to know that too.