I am way overdue on writing this post, since the events happened a month ago, but I’ve been busy with the lawn and yard. I would still like to get this on the record, however.
This episode all started when JeffCo Sheriff Glenn Boyer (D) went complaining to his buddies at the Leader about how state Senator Paul Wieland (R, 22nd district) was blocking Boyer’s appointment to the Missouri Veterans Commission. Boyer howled that he was being blocked for political reasons, since he endorsed defender-of-rogue-cops Jeff Roorda in the 2014 Senate race that Wieland won. And if that was the reason, that would have been fine. That’s politics. Boyer can’t be political when it suits him (like with the Obama truth squad) and then turn around and be apolitical.
In the original Leader article on February 18, Wieland would not comment on why he was blocking the nomination. Only in late March, in an interview on KJFF radio, did he open up. It turns out that his house was burgled in early February, and he did not want to engage in a public fight while the sheriff’s office was investigating, which I think was a wise choice.
When Wieland did speak, he pointed out that state law governs appointments to the vets commission. RSMo 42.007.3 says:
The governor shall make appointments to the commission from lists of nominees recommended by each of the statewide veterans’ organizations incorporated in this state, chartered by Congress, or authorized under Title 38, United States Code.
It turns out no such organization nominated Boyer. The governor did produce a letter dated 1-6-15 from the state VFW commander nominating Boyer, but Wieland said nobody ever showed him this letter, according to the April 14 Leader. Wieland says some vets groups said they did not, in fact, want Boyer (to protect them, Wieland did not name them). In all his caterwauling, Boyer has never really addressed the fact that the law was not followed. One would think that a lawman would be concerned about that sort of thing.
Boyer also falsely claimed that keeping him off the commission was somehow preventing a state veteran’s home from being built in Jefferson County. This despite the fact that a) JeffCo already has a rep on the commission, and b) a new state veteran’s home is absolutely not in the cards. While Leader editorial page editor Pat Martin, a Boyer fanboy, admitted no home was in the works, he refused to criticize Boyer for saying that, and went so far as to devote his full-page column on March 10 to attacking a letter writer who criticized Boyer.
Incidentally (or not), Wieland’s stolen items were not recovered, even though he has a GPS hit from a phone that was taken. Boyer claims that a detective did not listen to a voice mail Wieland left him for several days after it was sent. Wieland said “this makes the Sheriff’s Office look pitiful,” which is very true. Boyer acknowledges that the case was a big fail whale, but he turned around and blamed Lt. Dave Marshak, the north zone commander, because this happened in his zone. Boyer also pointed out “oh, by the way, he is running for sheriff as a Republican.”
So not only do you have a case where the leader of an organization is publicly blaming his subordinate for a failure, but he is doing it in the hopes of influencing an election in which Boyer has endorsed his undersheriff, a Democrat. But I thought Boyer wasn’t playing politics! Is this the kind of leadership we want to perpetuate at the sheriff’s office? Now we see why Wieland was careful not to put others at risk of political reprisals. (On a related note, I heard a story just the other day of a relative of Boyer allegedly getting arrested while driving drunk but being allowed to merely sleep it off.)
An arrest was made and charges were filed in the Wieland burglary, but only in St. Louis. The JeffCo prosecutors office, run by Forrest Wegge (D) is not filing charges. Hmm…