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Saturday, August 29, 2009

DO THE STEFFEY/DYSHKO CASE SETTLEMENTS MEAN THAT SHERIFF SWANSON IS NOT RUNNING A TIGHT SHIP AT THE STARK COUNTY JAIL?

The SCPR recently received an e-mail from a reader who is dissatisfied with both Sheriff Swanson and sheriff candidate Larry Dordea (2008.)

First, read the e-mail:Reader

Now let's deal with the questions and points made:

READER POINT ONE: The SCPR pushes Larry Dordea?

Larry Dordea was a challenging candidate to Sheriff Swanson. When yours truly interviewed the sheriff during the 2008 campaign, he had nothing but good things to say about Dordea.

Initially, the SCPR and Dordea got off to a rocky start. There was a SCPR article on Dordea suggesting that he was too parochial to be a countywide official. The issue? Centralizing 9-1-1.

Dordea took issue with the SCPR piece and said so in a comment to the published story.

Over time the SCPR has been somewhat impressed with Dordea and his ideas for restructuring operations at the sheriff's office.

The way things stand now, Dordea plans to run again for sheriff in 2012. However, the SCPR does not believe Swanson will run again and Dodea's likely foe will be Rick Perez.

All the reader has to do is to make telephone calls to the subjects of all the SCPR reports and ask them whether or not he/she thinks yours truly gives them a pass on specific issues even if overall the SCPR thinks well of the subject.

The SCPR is an "equal opportunity" critic.

READER POINT TWO: The Repository and the SCPR did not report the Dyshko settlement?

Here is a partial copy of The Rep's "online" report which came several hours after the reader's e-mail posting time.

As for the SCPR. Well, yours truly is not a reporter. My focus on commentary/opinion. Oh, sure. Here and there the SCPR does come on breaking news and scoops The Rep. But reporting cannot be a focus of a "one-person-operation."

This story is an example of what the SCPR does and which readers say does very well: "expansive opinion pieces."

READER POINT THREE: The Steffey/Dyshko settlements are evidence that Sheriff Swanson is not running a competent operation (including the jail) and does not have policies in effect to prevent Steffey/Dyshko-esque occurrences.

Moreover, the readers says Dordea (whom he supported in 2008) is back off his criticism of Swanson

The SCPR has gone out and gotten detailed responses from Dordea and Swanson. Here they are:

DORDEA:Dordea on Steffey and Dyshko
SWANSON:Swanson on Jail

What do you think?

2 comments:

sammyb said...

I have known and worked with Tim Swanson for the past 20 years. I believe he is a good guy but a terrible leader. I placed a Dordea sign in my yard last election and will do so again if he chooses to run. I also know Perez and his reputation among stark county law enforcement is less than stellar. The county will become even more disjointed under his leadership if elected I believe. Dordea is correct concerning training and morale at the sheriffs office. Tim Swanson is not a politician and even a less effective sheriff.

JLR said...

Sheriff Swanson's response to the Dyshko matter - as to so many things - is what's the big deal. The judge who denied the motion to dismiss the case believed a jury could reasonably conclude that Ms. Dyshko was harmed by her treatment. At his deposition, the Sheriff said foreigners were so rare, it wasn't worth his time to write a policy. He had to be forced by a lawsuit to provide for translators.

His response to the Steffey matter is old news; it all came out in the Canton Rep article. He just can't believe that even with this information people still feel what was done to Hope Steffey was wrong. Anyone who disagrees with him is ignorant according to his way of thinking so they must be relying only on the WKYC report. The man has a real problem.

Based the BCI report and other information on the internet, I conclude that Hope Steffey was not out of control at the jail, that she was not told she was being placed on suicide precautions or asked to voluntarily remove her clothes before being stripped by men and women. Basically, she was treated more like an animal than a human being. The Sheriff is boasting that they degraded and humiliated her quickly and efficiently. They made the decision to strip her and leave her naked in a cell within minutes of her arrival at the jail based on an evaluation by an LPN and a rubber stamp telephone approval by a psychologist who never spoke to Hope Steffey.

Take that fact, the statements to the BCI by staff that what happened to Hope Steffey was not uncommon and the Sheriff's statement on TV that there are lots of totally naked people at his jail and you get a better idea of what's going on. According to jail logs there was another woman on suicide watch at the same time as Steffey. The Sheriff's trying to imply this was a response to a unique set of circumstances when it is more the rule than the exception. There's also a question of failing to train female staff to handle these situations. The system is designed so that males must participate in forcibly stripping women.

Insurance companies don't just give money away. They must have felt when a jury heard all the facts they could very well rule in Steffey's favor for a tidy sum. The company was cutting its losses. Maybe they understand something the Sheriff doesn't - you don't avoid lawsuits by violating civil rights