Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford, Editor Brent Boyer and the World Co. COO Suzanne Schlicht. It is being published with permission from its author.
I think you all know me well enough to grant me a few minutes to vent my complete, gut-wrenching disgust with the article that appeared on the front page of the March 20 Steamboat Pilot & Today praising the new Sheriff Garrett Wiggins while criticizing and vilifying the former sheriff, my husband, Gary Wall. This article contains so many inaccurate statements about Sheriff Wall’s administration.
You never had the courtesy to ask Sheriff Wall to comment on any of the assertions about him or his office that you printed. Your paper has had a history of sensationalizing everything about Sheriff Wall without fully understanding the reasons behind his decisions or the truth of the situation. Your treatment of him when he was in office is no small part of why he is no longer in office. Personally, I am glad to be out of this limelight; at times it was awful for both of us. We are both better off now, and Gary has a lot to be proud of. Your article suggests the opposite.
Gary and I care deeply about the state of the office of sheriff. We know that many of the employees are walking on eggshells now, after a period of stability, predictability and calm when working under Gary and Dave Bustos.
You wrote a nice editorial at the end of Gary’s term that his legacy was the addition of AEDs in each of the Sheriff’s Office vehicles. We believe that you completely missed the mark on that one. Gary’s legacy should have been that he was the first sheriff in decades to understand the constitutional separateness of the office of sheriff and the true power of the sheriff. Unfortunately for our county, we have three county commissioners who insist on micromanaging every department and who consider the Sheriff’s Office just one of those departments. Their expertise should be managing the budget, not running a law enforcement agency. Their attitudes, along with Sheriff Wiggins’, will keep our county backwards and unprogressive as long as they’re in office. It’s a shame.
You know me as a client, as a Rotarian, and as the owner of a great store where you love to shop. Please know me as a wife who wants to move forward with her beloved husband, who fought a good fight for the people of this county, for his employees, and for his principles. Please do your part by not continuing to bring us down, especially since Gary is no longer in office. Please do a better job considering the ramifications of everything you print.