COUNTY SHERRIFS’ HALL OF SHAME: JOSEPH G. GROODY

C212085D2008-01-01Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

Joseph G. Groody is the Sheriff of Schulkyll County, PA.  He is a Democrat.

It is difficult to find much on Sheriff Groody online.  Doesn’t seem to have a publicly accessible facebook account, google + account, etc.  It seems he has little interest in being accessible to his constituents through online venues.  Why is that?  Is it simply because, like many his age (he is 54) he is not familiar with social networking?  Or, perhaps, is it because he is so OPSEC conscious (although, why a local sheriff should have to worry about that is beyond me)?  Or perhaps, is it because he wants to be careful not to let it slip to his constituents where he stands on certain issues?  Where is this apparent fear of his constituents coming from?

There isn’t much out there on him, but I did find some interesting things about him in my research.

For example, I did find an article from the Republican Herald covering the death of Berks County Sheriff, Kyle Pagerly, which quoted him speaking obliquely on gun control.

«‘There are a lot more people armed. It’s just incredible,’ he said. ‘People do not realize the dangers.'»

People do not realize the dangers, Sheriff Groody?  Does the private ownership of fire arms worry you?  Also, isn’t a bit slimy to use the deaths of police officers to push gun control?  Especially when the shooter was using a stolen gun?  Don’t we, the people have a right to defend ourselves from people who use stolen guns?  Or is it just cops that are allowed to be armed against known criminals?

(I would have loved to read the comments on that article.  Interestingly, the comments on that article were closed…)

Or is it just that you’re only for private ownership of firearms when your department is able to get their cut?

«…However, Groody said he hasn’t heard anyone buying a permit cite recent debate about gun control as a reason.»

REALLY?!

Not to call you a liar, Sheriff Groody, but I think this might be a tad disingenuous.  Or, perhaps, your constituents simply know better than to confide in you when it comes to gun control issues.

I can’t help but think that Sheriff Groody is being a little reticent on the gun control issue — only hinting at what he really thinks.  After all, he didn’t exactly win his seat by a landslide.

In reference to winning the election, he is quoted as saying: «I couldn’t feel any happier. I was sitting here on pins and needles all night. It’s almost like I was on trial here. You’re waiting for a jury to come out of deliberations, and you’re waiting for the verdict.»  Why is it that you feel you’re on trial, Sheriff Groody?  I smell a guilty conscience.  His challenger, Dale L. Repp, a former Pottsville police chief, who lost to Sheriff Groody by a very narrow margin, criticized Sheriff Groody’s drive for a more centralized Sheriff’s department.

«‘They essentially wave a magic wand and say, ‘Poof!’ The 2,200 or so deputy sheriffs throughout the state suddenly are given full law-enforcement powers,'» Repp said. «First of all, who’s going to pay for it?’ Local law enforcement could also ease the burden on the sheriff’s office, Repp said. In a meeting with the Schuylkill County Constables Association, Repp said he found many municipal constables are eager to help serve writs and warrants. ‘They tell me they have the training, they’re anxious to do it, they’re willing to do it, and I think they should be given the chance to take some of that load off the sheriff’s office.’ Repp said.»

It’s interesting to read the comment thread on that article.  Observe the difference in demeanor and literacy among Groody’s supporters:

«GROODY IS DOING AN EXCELLANT JOB AND HAS PROVEN HE CAN HANDLE IT. GO JOE!
PUT THE POLITCAL PARTIES TO THE SIDE. THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB IS GROODY.»

Versus his detractors:

«Good luck in the Election Dale! As a former student, I saw first hand your work ethic, listened to your knowledge of the Criminal Justice system, and your experience as a police Chief in Pottsville, which you rose through the ranks to get.  They say this election for sheriff will come down to North and South of the mountain. While that may be true, the people concerned about drug use and immigration (an especially hot topic in Shenandoah) will make the right decision.»

«Issuing carry permits? Sounds like typical gun control issue to me.»

We will continue to track this story as it develops.  I leave you with this tidbit from a commenter on an article about Groody winning the sheriff seat:

«He shouldn’t have been there in the first place. He was appointed and not even confirmed by the governor! So technically his first time in office was a sham. Funny thing is that the people who work in the prison like Groody because while he’s in office, they don’t have to work. They were all afraid if Dale got in. And that’s not hearsay, that comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Say hello to 4 more years of Schuylkill County being the home of DUI’s, Suicide, crack cocaine, meth labs and illegal immigrants too. Man I’m proud of this place. Can’t you just smell the burning cannabis?»

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