During the primary election, it was revealed Sheriff Wuthnow had authorized his privately held company to do thousand of dollars of non-bid electrical work for the Harvey County Sheriff’s Department. While not illegal, it is inappropriate!

During the primary election Sheriff Wuthnow used his personally owned four-wheel-drive vehicle, which looks like an official sheriff’s department vehicle in parades and at the Harvey County Fair Demolition Derby. This vehicle always had “Keep A. J.” campaign signs in the vehicle, which gave the impression of a sheriff’s department endorsement of Sheriff Wuthnow. While not illegal, it is inappropriate!

Now it appears the sheriff has fired a 14-year veteran employee of the sheriff’s department. If the employee has valid legal grounds, a civil lawsuit could cost Harvey County hundreds of thousands of dollars. While he might be justified in her dismissal, and it may not be illegal, it could be inappropriate!

I believe the Harvey County commissioners should ask for and perform a full financial audit of the sheriff’s department. I believe the soon-to-be elected sheriff should be protected from possible inappropriate expenditures of the past and be able to assume the office unencumbered. Furthermore, I believe Sheriff Wuthnow should take an absence from the office, with pay. I believe the undersheriff could assume his duties for the next four months. Let’s end this cycle of drama in the sheriff’s office and bring some peace to the office and staff of our county law enforcement professionals.

— James Volk, Newton