Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.
We’re so glad you could attend.
Come inside! Come inside!
These lyrics from Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Karn Evil 9 is from their album “Brain Salad Surgery” and, while written and produced back in 1973 — 42 years ago — aptly illustrate the circus currently masquerading as the Sheriff’s campaign for Floyd County in 2015.
Said Doug Weddle, losing GOP Primary candidate for Floyd County Sheriff, to Roanoke Times’ Reporter Mike Gangloff after the Saturday, May 16th Republican Canvass:
Saturday’s gathering at the library ended with the defeated candidates voicing support for the winners. Weddle, whose 24-year law enforcement career began with a couple years with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, shook hands with Craig.
“Right here is the future of law enforcement for Floyd,” Weddle said. “And I urge you to support him 100 percent.”
Now, when one asks Weddle if the “100 percent” support for Craig also left room for his work now for Jimmy Howery’s newly-announced candidacy for Sheriff as an independent, the answer is tinged with arrogance and tells them to shove off.
A question must be asked about the honesty of the Christiansburg police officer who tried, and came close, to become the GOP nominee for Floyd County Sheriff.
If Weddle is, in fact, that duplicitous, then Floyd County escaped with a close call in the GOP canvass.
An irony came late in 2014 when current Sheriff Shannon Zeman supported Democrat Mark Warner in his re-election. Any Republicans said Zeman violated an oath that GOP candidates sign that promises to support Republicans and only Republicans.
Wrote Floyd Republican Committee secretary Cline Hall in the minutes of the committee meeting of October 30, 2014:
Mention was made of Sheriff Shannon Zeman’s TV endorsement of Senator Warner and the ethical side of it. All agreed that he had every right to vote for Warner, but should not as a Republican Sheriff have gone on TV to endorse him. Comment was made that a family member of Zeman may be in line for a Washington position. Otherwise, some said that Zeman should not consider running as a Republican in the next election. Some mentioned that Doug Weddle, who is currently a Lieutenant in the Christiansburg Police Force, may be considered as Floyd’s next Sheriff.
Zeman already had planned to retire.
Weddle signed the same oath when he became one of the two candidates in the GOP canvass earlier this May. Then he lost, conceded to Craig and announced “100 percent support.”
The oath Weddle signed said:
I do certify that I believe in the principles and goals of the Floyd County Republican Party, that I have and will continue to support candidates of the Republican Party, and that I will run as Republican.
If not selected by my party for the office I shall support the Republican candidate for that office and shall not seek the office in November as an independent candidate.
But he abandoned that oath and now supports Howery.
Is that kind of doublespeak an asset or a liability to the former bailiff? Is it what residents of Floyd County should expect in an election of a law enforcement officer?
Jimmy Howery is a retired Virginia State Trooper and served as a part-time Floyd County Deputy and court bailiff in the courts until he was fired by Sheriff Shannon Zeman in April in a matter that the Sheriff will not, and cannot by law, discuss. The firing came on the same day that a letter from Howery criticizing the department, performances of deputies and other matters appeared in The Floyd Press. Howery also endorsed Weddle’s run for sheriff.
While Howery has every right to run for Sheriff and says he was encouraged by others to do so, the support from Weddle could be either an asset or a liability.
Mark Sisson is chief of police of Christiansburg and Weddle’s boss. He endorsed Weddle for sheriff in the primary. So did a previous police chief of the town, a mayor and a Christiansburg resident who served, for a time, as town manager of Floyd? Do they support Weddle’s flip-flop and abandonment of his oath?
One has to wonder if Police Lieutenant Weddle is that cavalier with the oath he swore to serve the citizens of Christiansburg as a town police officer. Let’s hope, for their sake, that he takes that oath more seriously.
This is something to watch and follow…and we will.
(Updated with more information)