Having failed to use its power and influence of the printing press to convince the Board of Supervisors to appoint Neil Lingle to the remainder of Sheriff Bob Doyle's aborted term in office, the Press Enquirer is crying foul. They say the appointment process did not bring credit to the County. We disagree, dear readers.
The appointment process was like a good Senate hearing in Washington DC. It wasn't pretty at times, but thank God three of the County's Supervisors took the job seriously and decided that they had a duty to the public and asked the tough questions. The answers to those questions led them to the conclusion that with Doyle's resignation, a new direction was needed, not three more years of dirty tricks and unethical behavior. That's why Stan Sniff got the job and not Neil Lingle.
If anyone or anything was discredited during the process, it was the Press Enquirer, which continues to pretend it is an objective member of the media. The PE's Doyle favored coverage of events looks more like the kind of reporting we've come to expect from Fox News: they report and you decide based on only the half of the story they wanted to let you in on dear readers.
Just look at their three editorials on the Sheriff's Appointment Process:
First they told us that the Board had to appoint Lingle to depoliticize the process. (Actually the very inclusion of Lingle on the short list for the appointment made the process political in the first place.)
Then when they realized Doyle's clone couldn't win the job they called for a special election. (Where was the good old Press Enquirer to stand up for the voters weeks earlier when it told the Board to appoint Lingle without a special election?)
Now the Press Enquirer wants a special election and is attempting to smear the character and integrity of our new Sheriff, Colonel Stan Sniff, before the man has even been sworn into office. (Talk about sour grapes!)
Where has the Press Enquirer been these last few weeks? Very serious revelations about malfeasance in the Sheriff's office came to light since the resignation of Sheriff Bob Doyle. The Press Enquirer calls them "unsubstantiated allegations" that were "tossed around without any proof." We suppose a tearful Valerie Hill telling how she had to agree to a prearranged retirement date to get a promotion she was worthy of was not enough for the elitists over at the PE.
But let's look at this logically dear readers. The only thing that it would take to substantiate or unsubstantiate these allegations is for the Press Enquirer to act like a freaking newspaper and look at the facts. Why haven't they?
This is all they would need to do: Gather together Doyle's contribution lists and compare it to all the promotional press releases Tom Freeman's been sending them these last five years. Maybe the Press Enterprise will find a correlation that they have overlooked.
Just like the PE overlooked the badge scandal last year while the LA Times made headlines statewide, especially after revealing that one of Doyle's campaign contributors had indeed been arrested and convicted for misusing one of the Doyle's badges to repossess a car.
Just like the PE overlooked the Grand Jury reports that implicated Neil Lingle and Mike Andrews for cashing out vacation time they took but never reported on their time cards, even though Press Enterprise had copies of the time cards provided to it by the same person who turned them over to the Grand Jury.
Just like the PE overlooked the Grand Jury reports that showed neither Mike Andrews or Randy Throne had the educational qualification for their two previous positions in the Sheriff's Department.
Just like the PE overlooked the fact that Bob Doyle had not been coming to the office on a regular basis for over a year. If the paper had made the voters aware of his complete ambivalence to the job, maybe 70% of the voters would have sent pre-liposuctioned butt packing.
We all know the Press Enterprise has never been a friend to the cop on the street. Remember how the paper disgracefully ran the photo of the slain bodies of Deputies Haugen and Lehman on its front page in 1997? But for the paper to conceal the facts about the abuse of power in the Doyle Administration is outright ridiculous.
Did the Press Enterprise get something for its cooperation in these matters? Advertising revenue at taxpayer expense? Bags of cash? Honorary badges? It makes us all wonder.