Does Anything Go in Strickland vs. Strickland

Rules, we don’t need no stinking rules!

Our tip line has started percolating some neat issues. I have reported that things were going to get crazy with the Sheriff’s race and it didn’t take long for that to come about. There was some discussion about how the rules were changed to allow Colonial Strickland (aka Jeff) to run, but it looks like that discussion was somewhat a misnomer; as the rules don’t apply to Colonial Strickland. The story starts back on March 17th when the Director of H.R. sent an e-mail to Jeff Strickland informing him, “that Section 203.4.2 of the Hall County Government Employee Handbook & Policy Guidelines say that “Any County employee seeking elective office within Hall County shall, upon declaring candidacy, either resign or submit a request in writing to the County Administrator or appropriate elected department head, for a leave of absence without pay from the date of his/her announcement through the duration of the campaign or the announcement of election results.””1

It appears that the rules don’t apply here, however. According to the Sheriff’s attorney (and the old/new county attorney) “he is not covered by Civil Service because he is a contract employee and that it is the Sheriff’s discretion as to whether he (Jeff) works past the date he becomes a candidate through announcement. Bill relied on Section II of the Civil Service Act.” It was HR’s feeling that “that contract employees are covered by the employee handbook except for the part that allows grievances and appeals. We give up the right to appeal termination in exchange for severance and other benefits as detailed in our individual contracts. Otherwise, (contract employees) have to comply with the provisions of the handbook, also.”

After the issue was reviewed by Holland and Knight, they came back with the opinion that, “Contract employees are thus neither bound by the generally applicable County Government Employee Handbook and Policy Guidelines for civil service employees, nor are they entitled to the due process protections afforded by the Civil Service Board.”2 So in other words, if you are a “contract employee” with the county the rules don’t apply.

Emboldened by the lack of rules is what most likely generated the next complaint from a part time employee in the Sheriff’s office who complained to H.R. that “Jeff (Strickland) is having secretaries look up the other candidates Facebook page, on work time, to see which employees in the Sheriff’s Dept are friends of the other candidate.”3 This can’t be good. I wonder if Jeff will have them knocking on doors next week or maybe holding signs for him on the side of the road.

I have to agree with the director of H.R. when she said; “I’ve given up any dreams of controlling Jeff (Strickland).”3 I have to wonder if this is the kind of person we want running our Sheriff’s department.

Hugh Hall County Akston

As information, the items below can be found via an ORR.

1- From: “Linda Pryor (HR)”

To: “‘'”

CC: “Jeff Strickland (Sheriff’s Office)”

Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 13:43:50 -0400

Subject: FW: New Memo

2- From:

To: Linda Pryor (HR)

Cc: Jeff Strickland (Sheriff’s Office); Steve Cronic (Sheriff’s Office);

Sent: Sun Mar 20 16:45:27 2011

Subject: RE: Colonel Jeff Strickland/Sheriff Announcement

3- From: “Linda Pryor (HR)”

To: “‘'”

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 11:04:37 -0400

Subject: RE: Comp Time Payout

  8 comments for “Does Anything Go in Strickland vs. Strickland

  1. George T
    May 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Oh my!

  2. September 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

    as a former employ you had better believe that what’s fair for the goose is NOT fair for the gander. If you are not one of the good ole boys the same rules do not apply!!!!!!

    • The Truth
      September 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      I think that is exactly what we are trying to point out.

    • Greg
      October 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      I also am a former employee, and I totally agree. Jeff Strickland will do whatever he wants.

  3. September 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    This is shameful. The LETTER of the law is clear, and unfortunately allows for this “loophole” at Steve Chronic’s discretion, but his decision clearly violates the INTENT or spirit of the law. Jeff Strickland should resign while he campaigns; period!

  4. jblcool
    October 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Technically you are not a candidate until you declare to run for office, which won’t take place for these candidates until April. That is why Strickland is able to annouce his candidacy without resigning.

    But I’m sure those of you who dislike him will be happy to know that he is retiring as of Friday, October 28th. He decided that he would like to take a break after 28 years of service to spend time with his family before working on his campaign full time. I’m pretty sure he plans to travel as well.

    I hope he enjoys his well deserved time off, and I thank him for protecting the citizens of Hall County for 28 years.

  5. David
    October 27, 2011 at 4:43 am

    ” He decided that he would like to take a break after 28 years of service to spend time with his family before working on his campaign full time”

    Yeah right. Rumor has it that the Governor called Steve Cronic and said “get rid of them” (meaning Strickland, Conner, Gilbert, & Smith). Why would the rules be changed and then both Strickland and Gilbert decide to retire within days of each other?

  6. jblcool
    October 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Strickland decided to retire for the reasons he gave. He has already made travel plans with his family. He’s put in 28 years of service, and I for one think that deserves a break.

    As for these rumors about the governor putting pressure on Cronic, I think you’re lacking in what almost every other person on this site is also lacking in…PROOF! The Governor is a close personal friend of Strickland’s, so without proof, I see this information for what it really is. Rumors made up by people with nothing better to do with their time.

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