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After I retired as sheriff nearly 12 years ago I thought I was through with politics.  However, many issues have come to light with regard to our current sheriff's office that have alarmed and even angered me. 

Among the matters of great concern was an article in the local newspapers regarding a very serious  breach of security by one sheriff, Richard Keuerleber, whereby he permitted a convicted felon to park his vehicle in the parking area of our Judicial Center where parking is restricted for our judges, row officers and sheriff's and law enforcement vehicles.

This man was there for a PFA (Protection from Abuse) hearing for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend and allegedly threatening her life. The sheriff admitted allowing this man to park there on previous occasions. He additionally said he did a so called "visual search," which is not acceptable.

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This is an absolute outrage, and our county commissioners called it a "dereliction of duty" and suspended the sheriffs' office's responsibility of being in charge of security in the Judicial Center. If any other deputy would have allowed this man or any other unauthorized person to park there they would have rightly been terminated immediately.

I have also learned that Sheriff Keuerleber has engaged in despotic behavior  in dealing with many of his subordinates. This has led to many highly qualified deputies leaving the department.  In fact, five of them left to go to Adams County Sheriff's Office. Furthermore, eight deputies have left in the past six months and every one of them have said they left as a result of heavy-handed treatment by the sheriff and his henchmen he put in leadership positions.

These individuals have absolutely created a hostile work environment, and I would be shocked if someone does not file a lawsuit against this office. Not only has the leave of departing deputies caused a reduction in productivity, such as disbandment of the warrant-serving team and the crime reduction unit, but it is extremely costly to recruit, hire, train and equip new deputies.

Keuerleber blames everything on being understaffed, however, he is directly responsible for such under staffing. 

Since I still know many of the employees in the sheriff's office they have confided in me about the morale being so low that they are afraid if they say anything about issues of concern they will be axed.

As sheriff, I hired Richard Keuerleber and he was a good employee. I even supported him when I retired and initially he did well. But over the years I noticed a change in his personality and treatment of people.

In my opinion, his incompetence is matched only by his arrogance. His statement about the security breach, which I believe to truly be, as our commissioners said, a dereliction of duty were, not contrite. Instead, he responded that he has the flexibility to waive the rules. That is pure nonsense. 

He has 12 years in office and has recently gotten worse as a leader, not better. It's time for him to go.

Recently, White Rose Lodge No. 15 Fraternal Order of Police and York City Firefighters Union Local 27 have rescinded their support for Keuerleber and endorsed his opponent, Shane Becker. I also endorse Shane Becker, who has an extensive background in law enforcement. Shane is eminently qualified to be our next sheriff. He has over 20 years in law enforcement, including five years as a deputy sheriff. He also has seven years of overseas high-threat diplomatic security having served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo while serving with the United Nations and Department of State often as a squad leader. He has the leadership skills and temperament to oversee our sheriffs office with dignity and respect for all.

I am asking my fellow York countians to put politics aside and vote for Shane Becker, the most qualified candidate, on Nov. 5 and I thank you for your vote in this important election. 

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