For the most part we've stayed away from the race for Niagara County Sheriff. That is not to say that we are indifferent to the race, we've simply been waiting for it to heat up. However, a string of events has seriously raised the issue of candidate Jim Voutour's judgement and the judgement of those who support him.
Several questionable actions by the Voutour camp culminated with the suspension of an Investigator with the Niagara County Sheriffs Department this past Thursday. The Investigator in question, who we have the name of but will not release, booked in sick from his job at NCSD on Thursday. Later, he was caught nailing Voutour signs onto a burned out vacant building in Niagara Falls, formerly Pharaohs Nightclub at Whirlpool and Cleveland.
He admitted his indiscretion and was suspended from the department. As if that's not problematic enough in itself, here's the bigger problem: Undersheriff Sam Muscarella not only suspended the employee, he came down on the employee's boss and another employee (both of whom we have the names of) who reported the incident, for not covering the matter up.
Muscarella must be exposed and he must be punished for his actions. Unfortunately, that is Muscarella's way, to punish the whistle blower. Muscarella is Voutour's biggest cheerleader, going as far as to write blatant lies in a letter to the editor.
Voutour, not surprisingly, has refused to condemn these actions. Why would he? He's busy placing signs illegally all across Niagara County, an obvious indication of his flaunting of the law. Hardly the characteristics we should be looking for in a leader.
Unfortunately, this is just another example of the stench that has permeated the Niagara County Sheriffs Department in recent years; a department that has been plagued by cover ups, scandals and millions in (taxpayer funded) lawsuits.
Voutour has been a part of that administration. Now he wants to lead it? Please. Leaders lead, they don't pass the buck, and they don't allow colleagues, irregardless of politics, to get railroaded by a vindictive Undersheriff who's too busy himself playing politics to know the difference between right and wrong.