It’s time that our voters decide on November 6th that we desperately need change in Leon County by not re-electing four term incumbent Larry Campbell again as Sheriff. We need to take Leon County into the modern-day without the good ol’ boy network of Good Ol’ Buddies Campbell and Meggs running things like the 1970′s or earlier.
Campbell barely won the primary against former jail captain Tommy Mills in the Aug. 14th Democratic primary! Tommy Mills is a nice guy but hasn’t had much experience for working as a Sheriff with a resume of mainly supervising the jail. Had he had more experience, he probably would have won the primary as shown by voters wanting change over that of Campbell.
Sprague has new ideas and wants to bring major changes to the sheriff’s office. She wants to modernize crime-fighting techniques, bring in volunteer experts to examine the budget and the effectiveness of programs and services and take a look at issues involving the jail, including its population and management.
“If elected as sheriff, I promise to begin a new culture of cooperation, collaboration and communication,” Sprague said. “I’m going to start a new era of partnerships and teamwork that will improve law enforcement in Leon County. Crime-fighting is a team sport, and as sheriff, I want to form that team.”
Sprague, who if elected would become the first female sheriff in the county’s history and third female Sheriff in Florida, is the daughter of an Air Force pilot. She grew up moving around, before the family settled during her high-school years at her grandfather’s dairy farm in New York.
She went to the University of Miami, intending to pursue oceanography, but got interested in law enforcement after an internship with the Cortland County, New York, probation office.
She took a job as deputy at Cornell University and later served as a lieutenant. She later worked more than a decade as police chief at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. She runs her own security-consulting firm and has taken a leave of absence as reserve officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to campaign.
Her experience, she said, “gives me the skills, the experience and the qualifications to run the Sheriff’s Office. I know what it takes to run an agency like that.”
Sprague moved to Tallahassee in 2003, after taking a job as deputy chief at the FSU Police Department, where she supervised 45 uniformed officers and oversaw budget and policy development. In 2010, after she brought forward concerns about alleged unethical behavior of David Perry within the campus Police Department, her contract with FSU was cancelled by the chief for her complaints. She sued the university, the parties went into mediation and she was awarded $35,000 plus attorneys fees in a settlement in 2011.
“I’m proud of the actions I took,” she said. “I would do the same things again today. It would be my expectation that employees of LCSO would do the same. In my book, no one is above the law.”
Sprague has said in interviews she decided to run with no party affiliation for both philosophical and strategic reasons. She said she believes the Sheriff’s Office should be nonpartisan. She also wanted to avoid a primary-election contest with fellow Democrats Campbell and Mills.
She said she would encourage more citizen involvement in the running of the Sheriff’s Office and bring in volunteer experts to examine the budget and the effectiveness of programs and services. She said she wants to closely scrutinize the jail in particular.
“I think the leadership of the Sheriff’s Office has been in place for 30-some years,” she said. “I respect those many years of service. It’s now time to focus on bringing the agency into the modern 21st century.”
Campbell has raised nearly $150,000, more than three times what Sprague’s campaign has collected. This comes at no surprise considering the cronies of the Sheriff that owe him favors in the good ol’ boy network for helping them out of trouble and keeping them all employed. Many of the deputies fear Campbell for intimidation and threats to losing their jobs at the office. This is in which many deputies and their family members are supporting his campaign for concerns of keeping their jobs by not speaking up about this corrupt Sheriff and supporting him as Sheriff. Also, there are many kick-backs of campaign donations to the Sheriff for department contracts like Capelotto that handles Pest Control for the Jail on a monthly payment basis as a commercial business. The Sheriff’s office has numerous contracts with private vendors in which many could probably be cut with review for better budgeting and cutting unnecessary expenses for political and personal gains strictly to Sheriff Larry Campbell.
And while Campbell’s war chest has allowed him to mount an advertising blitz on TV, Sprague has been campaigning for 18 months, becoming a fixture at community events. Lisa Sprague is often at community events with Campbell not in attendance and not involved. For A Sheriff, Campbell is not very hands-on when it comes to functions and community events.
Campbell is 70 years old which is way past retirement age. His education and military history claimed has come under scrutiny in which his minor achieved is not the major that he’s been claiming. This is while claiming that he was a platoon sergeant in which his military record states that of being a corporal upon leaving the marines. Deputies at the Sheriff’s Office had written and released several letters during the last year along with their stories to the Tally O detailing the local corruption at LCSO with Sheriff Campbell in charge.
Campbell blames Sprague and her surrogates for mounting a whisper campaign of false allegations through anonymous letters and online posts and more obvious attacks through news conferences. The allegations have involved everything from cronyism to cover-ups.
“This is the dirtiest campaign I have ever seen or ever heard of,” he said. “I’m furious. If they want to attack me on my professional abilities and compare mine with theirs, that’s fair game. But just to make up stuff that embarrasses me, my family and my workers is just plain wrong.”
Sprague says Campbell has shown inappropriate animosity on the campaign trail and held a news conference last month in which women’s groups blasted him over her allegations he’d been using foul and demeaning language to refer to her, something the sheriff denies.
“I am sticking to the issues, trying to take the high road,” Sprague said. But she added she’s concerned about the allegations. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And certainly there seems to be indicators that there are concerns about the current operations of the Sheriff’s Office.”
Sources: Excerpts Of Story Taken From The Tallahassee Democrat and The Tallahassee O Stories By LCSO Deputies