Letter to the Editor

A message from Sheriff Hollinshead

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Several months ago, an anonymous complaint was filed with the Attorney General's office because I gave an employee paid administrative time-off during his final week of employment.

The Detective Sergeant had served 13 years with the Elmore County Sheriff's Office before announcing his retirement in January 2019. In appreciation of more than a decade of honorable service to the community, I told the sergeant to take his last four days of employment, January 28-31, as paid leave. He made sure his division was well-prepared to continue in any cases he was involved in, so I wanted him to enjoy his final week with the agency, visiting with deputies and saying goodbye to staff. I viewed this time as my way of saying "thank you" for his service and to wish him well in retirement.

A few days ago, I learned the Attorney General's Office has completed its investigation and did not find cause for criminal wrongdoing. Instead, they suggested the salary paid to the Detective Sergeant in the final week of his employment be returned to the County's general fund.

I believed I was acting in accordance with the law and County policy when I granted the employee four days of what I consider to be well-deserved leave. I am committed to maintaining the trust, respect and confidence of you and the citizens we serve. I will always stand behind my actions and take full responsibility for my decisions. I chose to grant the sergeant a week of leave, so I have paid the $806.74 to the general fund as reimbursement for the week of administrative pay. This money was paid as a personal payment from my own pocket.

I am sharing this with you so you know the status of the complaint and my response to it. I hope none of this overshadows the most important part of this story: I appreciate our deputiesí dedication to keeping the community safe and protecting our quality of life.

I appreciate the work they do each and every day. I am honored to be your sheriff. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Sheriff Mike Hollinshead