The tag “corruption county” was unfortunate because law enforcement had done a fantastic job of policing, and I felt we did not need the Office of the Inspector General for that purpose.
In her own words, Inspector General Sheryl Steckler said, “We don’t go after corruption, quote-unquote. That is for the State Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.”
Inspector General Steckler has been courageous. She claims that poorly worded government contracts allowed contractors to escape tight controls. Because she has exposed mismanagement and waste, she has been the piñata at the party. As Shakespeare wrote, “The first bringer of unwelcome news hath but a losing office.”
My opposition to the OIG has always been the funding criteria and a violation of home rule, and I never accepted that our county was corrupt. A few individuals transgressed the law. One was indicted under a law that has since been repealed. The fact is that we are fortunate in this county to be represented by honest, humble, levelheaded, evenhanded and articulate leaders, such as Mayor Steven Abrams and commissioners Patricia Taylor, Shelley Vana and others. There are also outstanding administrators like County Administrator Robert Weisman who, like a capable navigator in bad weather, has always guided the county to a safe mooring.
I support fully funding the OIG, and the county should settle the lawsuit and pick up the cost. It makes no difference to me if my tax dollars go to the municipalities to fund the OIG or to the county to fund the OIG. I also support merging the two inspectors general into one cost-efficient watchdog agency with all the powers granted to both.