The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letters to Editor

Henderson County Candidate Speaks Out

Dear Editor:

As you may know I'm a democrat candidate for Henderson County Sheriff and I would like to have an opportunity to tell the people a little bit about myself and my past.

First of all, I have lived in Henderson County my entire life, and happily married to my wonderful wife Suzanne of 16 years, with two children Samantha 15, and Joshua 13.

I served on the Lomax Village Board one term before being elected Highway Commissioner of Lomax Township and served two terms in that office. I also have been an active member on the Lomax Fire Department the past 18 years and the past 5 years I have had the pleasure to serve as fire chief. As the fire chief, I have around twenty two firefighters under my command, and these men and women deserve a lot of credit because they do an outstanding job with a lot of pride, and I could not ask for a better group of people to work with.

Why I decided to run for Henderson County Sheriff, is because our current sheriff has shown poor leadership qualities, such as degrading the Illinois State Police for doing their job. The Illinois State Police is not a wolf pack, they do, and take their jobs serious and with pride. This is something the Sheriff's Department needs to do and with the current sheriff this is impossible, because the orders the deputies get is to just drive around and look good and don't make any waves.

The other reason is Henderson County has a serious problem with drugs and drug activity and the current sheriff has showed no real effort to address this problem. And frankly, I don't want this stuff around our children. And there are some issues that our sheriff has been involved in that has been hidden and swept under the carpet and this also has to stop.

Guess what, I am human just like any of you, and everybody has got a past. I am one who believes the past is the past, and I don't dwell on it. I believe we need to live the present and look to the future. So to show you I will not hide my past, I will tell you my side of the story that Sheriff Mark K. Lumbeck is dwelling on.

Back in July of 2000 I was charged with Domestic Battery, and I want to tell you how the sheriff, the former States Attorney, and my court appointed attorney handled this.

My wife called the sheriff's office to have a deputy to come to our home, this was basically to have me leave the home for a few days because we were fighting and arguing. Once the deputy arrived, I would not let him in or talk to him at first, and the last question he asked me, "Was, "Is there some place I could go for a few days and let this cool down" and, "I said yes." So I was permitted to leave my home. The next day the same deputy came looking for me with a warrant for my arrest for Domestic Battery, so off to the sheriff's office we go, and on the way there I had asked the deputy why I was not arrested last night and he replied, "There was no evidence of Domestic Battery so there was no cause to arrest you."

I also learned later that the sheriff just about fired the deputy because of who I was, I should have been arrested.

After a few days had past, my wife on her own will, went to the sheriff and asked to drop the charge because this had gone too far and the sheriff told her, "It was in the States Attorneys hands," so my wife went to the States Attorney and told him, "This had went way too far for no more than what had happened", and he told her that if she pushed to dropped this, he would file charges against her. So in her last attempt to have this dropped we went to my court appointed attorney to see if he could help. He said he would talk to the States Attorney, and he did, and the answer we got was because of my size I was going to be found guilty no matter what, and my best option was to plead out.

So after some consideration and under the understanding that I really didn't have a choice I took my attorney's advice and made a plea bargain and I agreed to violate no criminal statute or traffic laws, refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons except during deer hunting season, not leave the state without the consent of the court, and successfully complete the D.A.P.P. class which is thirty-four weeks long. This was told to me to be a two year agreement, and if I complied with this agreement, everything would be reinstated. At no time did my attorney or the States Attorney advise me I would permanently loose my gun rights or I would have not agreed to the deal.

The moral of the story is the sheriff did not trust the judgment his deputy made, and the States Attorney and the court appointed attorney lied to me to win the case. I feel that the law has violated my rights. If the truth is known there is probably someone else that was treated the same way.

So before filing my papers to seek this office, I took the time to check and see if I qualified and the answer is yes. The only thing is, I am at this time unable to carry a weapon, but I have people working on this issue for me. I also know that when you think of a sheriff, he is man with a gun and is to protect people. However, there is no law that states a sheriff has to carry a gun. In fact the sheriff is the administrator of the Sheriff's Department and instructs how the deputies and the office is ran. And right now that is something we need in the Sheriff's Office.

So come election day, just remember I have not lied to or tried to hide anything from you. And these issues I have mentioned need to see some action taken on them. What problems we solve today will better our children's future.

Please feel free to call me with any questions or comments at 217-449-3341.

Thank You.

Democrat Nominee for Henderson County Sheriff

Brian K. Grisham

Suzanne M. Grisham

Supportive Staff

Dear Editor:

Speaking for our respective units within the Hancock County Sheriff's office, we are proud to voice our support for Sheriff John Jefferson.

Last week, John announced that he is seeking to be selected to his third term as Hancock County Sheriff in 2006.

For the last seven years, John has been a hard working, dedicated Sheriff that has earned the respect and support of his fellow workers. We see daily the effort John puts forth in diligently serving the people of Hancock County.

It would be impossible in such a short letter to list all the things John has accomplished as Sheriff, but as people who also serve Hancock County daily, we can say, with certainty, John has been and will continue to be a Sheriff we can all be proud of.

Normally, the staff of an elected official does not, so readily, come forward and publicly support their boss, however, today's world sees constant changing state and federal regulations, methamphetamine has become a problem, jail inmate numbers are rising, costs to run the office are increasing and it takes a hard working, experienced, dedicated man to deal with these and the many other problems the Sheriff is expected to deal with.

We can honestly say to Hancock County that John Jefferson is such a man. We stand beside our boss, and wholeheartedly support him in the 2006 election.

Bill Ferrill Chief Deputy

Maria Hopp, 911 Administrator/Telecommunicators

Scott Bentzinger-Jail Administrator/Jailors/Food Service Staff

Rick Van Brooker/Sargent/Patrol Deputies