Editor, Times-Union:

Well, I have plenty to say to Mr. Stiffler, Kyle Dukes’ social media manager, but there are limited words to be used.

I think I would like to say first that Kyle Dukes is not running against administrations past but against Jim Smith, one of the most honest and fair people I know. I think when you try to claim Jim is playing “politics” you are trying to spin the factual shortcomings that have been pointed out against the Dukes administration as misinformation, which is not accurate. Some in law enforcement would say that Dukes spent his last few years as a trooper politicking to run for sheriff.

Second, your attack on the jail conditions when the Dukes administration took office seems a bit skewed. As you stated, you are not an insider, so you are being told the narrative the current administration wants spun. In my career I can tell you the Kosciusko County Jail always received great marks from the state jail inspections. The jail staff always worked hard to keep the jail in spectacular condition, regardless of inmate count. To say the jailers did a terrible job before Kyle took over is a real slap in the face to those officers that do great work in a thankless job.  Remember, most of the jail officers there now have been there many years.

I also find it head-scratching that you speak about a revolving door for those addicted to drugs. We all know that drug addiction is an awful disease that touches all of us in one way or another. I guess my thought is the revolving door is slowing down because under Dukes’ leadership the drugs are much more prevalent in the jail, backed by the recent overdoses, the most recent one where apparently the press wasn’t notified. So much for transparency. Leadership comes from the top down, not jail staff up.

Lastly, nepotism is defined as the practice among those with power or influence favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Kyle Dukes said the “good ole boy” was an issue that needed to be corrected, and as I pointed out in a prior letter, that practice seems to have expanded. Dukes’ brother-in-law was a successful detective, and he did clear a lot of cases, but does that mean he was the best to be in administration? Does a person being a great chef mean they can manage a restaurant? Remember, Shane was not the only mention toward the Dukes’ “good ole boy” pattern of hiring and promoting.

I support Jim Smith for sheriff because he will put service before self, which by the actions of the current administration was clearly not the goal, regardless of the catchy slogan.

J.D. Ayres

North Webster, via email