GUEST COMMENTARY: Kumstar is volunteer just like anyone else

2014-04-29T00:00:00Z 2014-05-02T17:31:07Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Kumstar is volunteer just like anyone elseBy Richard Ligon nwitimes.com
April 29, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Opinion, according to Webster, is defined as a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce certainty. It is a personal view, attitude or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by practical knowledge or proof.

This definition, in my opinion, describes the recent column by Rich James as it pertains to Joe Kumstar volunteering to assist with my campaign.

James reminds the readers of Kumstar’s recent conviction and attempts to — in my opinion — defame my character because of Kumstar’s efforts to volunteer without pay, to support a candidate he feels is the most qualified and best candidate for sheriff of Lake County.

Kumstar’s right to vote has not been revoked. He has the same voting rights as other Lake County citizens.

Earlier in my career, I served as both a parole and probation officer. In both capacities there was responsibility to assist in facilitating the rehabilitation of convicted felons, without personal judgment.

While I am not trying to rehabilitate Kumstar, I am neither Kumstar’s judge nor jury. He has taken responsibility for his crimes. His fate, at least for the next four to five years, has been properly determined, and he will enter the penal system to serve time for the crime he admitted to.

Further, it appears the recent column I’m referencing has political motives. In my opinion, the article was unbalanced in the sense that I am being scrutinized for allowing a convicted felon who offered to work as any other volunteer does in my campaign, while the Lake County sheriff’s office presently employs numerous employees with criminal records.

If the best candidate for the sheriff’s office is to be determined by a convicted felon volunteering to support a candidate for office, then let’s really inform the Lake County voters of a few seemingly criminal associations. Like the person who drives our present sheriff who stole evidence from the county lock-up. Or how about the ones with criminal records who have deputy sheriff’s commissions that are issued by the sheriff? Or better yet, how about the convicted felon who works in the sheriff’s department who was charging inmates money for passes from the Lake County Work Release Program?

And this is not my opinion; it is public record and/or public knowledge.

As a 36-year military officer and a 23-year federal agent, my integrity has never been compromised or challenged. Respectfully, I would expect a columnist who has been writing for more than 30 years to express balanced opinions to the readers.

It appears James has an ax to grind. Just my opinion!

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