Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin is standing beside his right-hand man, Chief Deputy Michael Flynn.
Sheriff Baldwin makes his position crystal clear in a batch of emails between him and FOP Capital City Lodge #9 President Jeff Simpson that The Sussi Report obtained through a Public Records request.
As The Sussi Report reported earlier this month, the union's membership unanimously supported a Vote of No-Confidence in Chief Deputy Flynn.
On April 19, FOP Capital City Lodge #9 President Jeff Simpson emailed a letter to Sheriff Baldwin. Simpson wrote that membership "has deemed Chief Deputy Flynn as a detriment to the operations and morale of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office." Simpson said that membership has his full support and invited both Sheriff Baldwin and Chief Deputy Flynn to meet with him "in an attempt to address the concerns of the members I represent."
In an April 20 email, Sheriff Baldwin acknowledged Simpson's letter and stated that he would respond to the membership's Vote of No-Confidence in Chief Deputy Flynn. The Sussi Report has no proof that Sheriff Baldwin has made good on his word.
On April 12, Simpson emailed a pair of letters to Sheriff Baldwin addressing the membership's issues with Chief Deputy Flynn.
In one letter, Simpson called out Chief Deputy Flynn for a memo he posted on April 1 in the FCSO's bi-weekly employee bulletin Chief Flynn called "Food for Thought." (The original report is attached).
These are the words that struck a nerve with FCSO employees.
"These are trying times for Law Enforcement; we have been attacked on many fronts. In some cases, it has been warranted. In other cases, not so much."
The memo prompted Simpson to email a letter to Sheriff Baldwin expressing "extreme displeasure" over Chief Deputy Flynn's words.
"The deputies of the FCSO are under extreme scrutiny as it is, and morale is at an all-time low," Simpson stated. "The last thing my deputies need to hear are words of dismay being uttered to them via email (in a public forum) on your behalf."
The Sussi Report combed through the email exchange between Simpson and Sheriff Baldwin, and there is no comment from Sheriff Baldwin regarding Chief Flynn's infamous "Food for Thought" memo.
In his second letter he emailed to Sheriff Baldwin on April 12, Simpson claims that it is a "conflict of interest" for Chief Deputy Flynn to oversee the Internal Affairs unit and grievance hearings. (Attached is a report that speaks to this concern).
Simpson wrote, "Having the same person who oversees the investigations decide the grievances regarding the said investigation is undeniably a conflict of interest. Practically speaking, this dual role held by Chief Flynn ensures no grievance, regardless of the merits, will ever be granted based on irregularities of issues in the investigatory process."
Simpson explained to Sheriff Baldwin that FCSO employees do not have faith in the grievance process. It "has deteriorated member morale and put a significant strain on labor relations," Simpson wrote.
Simpson asked Sheriff Baldwin to "remedy this conflict of interest as soon as feasible."
Through the string of emails, The Sussi Report learned that Sheriff Baldwin requested that the FCSO Human Resources Dept. and Franklin County Prosecutor's Office review Simpson's claim.
On April 19, Sheriff Baldwin sent an email to Simpson and stated that the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office determined that it is not a conflict of interest for Chief Flynn to oversee the Internal Affairs unit and grievance hearings.
In his email to Simpson, Sheriff Baldwin wrote, "I trust this will resolve this issue but let me know if you have any questions."
Simpson responded with this email.
"Sheriff, to be clear, the 2 issues/letters tie together as a whole. I can't stress enough that a No-Confidence Vote is an extremely rare occurrence within Lodge 9. Your troops are driving this train. Not the FOP. Whether or not you agree or disagree with your troops, I believe it is incumbent upon you to acknowledge that there is a definite problem that is much more than a run-of-the-mill complaint. This is a very pivotal time for you as Sheriff as to how this is handled."
Simpson added, "I can tell you that this will absolutely not resolve the issue with the members I represent."
NOTE: For the record, The Sussi Report contacted both Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and Maureen Kocot, the FCSO Media Relations Manager, with questions we have regarding the FOP's concerns. To date, neither of them have responded.
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