Nothing New !

  I missed Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher today on WGMD’s The Bill Collie Show.   But really I missed nothing, since there was nothing new in his arguments for expanded powers for his office.   One point that he didn’t spend a lot of time on is the fact that the County Council will be holding a hearing Monday morning at 10:00 am in regards to the deputy that was accused of improper use of county equipment. This is the case that accuses the deputy of using a county vehicle for personal use among other charges.   Sheriff Christopher did make one statement about the council “SPYING” on his department, I can only assume this is in reference to the GPS units on the sheriff’s department vehicles that were used to determine that the deputy was using the vehicle after hours. To call this spying seems a bit paranoid since it is my understanding that most if not all of the county’s vehicles have these GPS units installed.    The sheriff again stated his belief that he is standing on constitutional grounds in seeking the expansion of powers for his department. Unfortunately he never goes beyond saying that it is a constitutional issue, and gives not basis for that beyond the over used term, “conservator of the peace”.   He spoke of all of the people from across this nation who support him, this gives me as a states rights person great concern. This will and should be settled in Delaware, I would advise those people across the nation to spend their time removing the beam from their own eye.   Here is a link to WGMD, it is about twenty minutes long.

30 thoughts on “Nothing New !”

  1. Hey Thar Frank
    Another Sheriff post on your two issue posts. Good job. Obsessed is an understatement!! Good God guy, get a life.
    Are you really an a$$hole?

  2. Frank
    How would you know anything about the constitution. You’ve only read what you wanted and discarded the rest. That’s very convenient for you. You’ve sold out on every American principle that honorable Americans hold dear. You may have some amount of intelligence but you are constitutionally irrelevant.
    You read Both the Delaware and US Constitution with your own interpretation and believe it is GOSPEL.
    What is even more laughable is that you claim to be a Christian Conservative, You must be joking, nearly everybody believes you’ve become a joke on two legs.

  3. Yes, this is nitpicking, but perhaps with a purpose. No matter what the issue or who the speaker is, it bothers me when people argue that something is an over-used phrase or such. Something that is actually true is likely to be referred to a lot. We have to be careful not to judge what is true or not simply based on whether we feel tried of hearing about it. Something new and exciting may be less true than something old and worn.

  4. a) The county council would probably forgive this if it wasn’t a sheriff’s deputy.
    b) I don’t think Sheriff Christopher is helping himself much at this point.
    c) We still need locally accountable law enforcement.

  5. Oh, I see, Frank is “obsessed” if he comments on media statements by Christopher, but Christopher himself is not pursuing an obsession.

    For Frank not to be “obsessed”, I guess he ought to just shut up and let Christopher spew his noxious crap 24/7/365.

  6. If obsession is the subject, in what way does Reality Check’s obsession with Frank’s topic choices fail to make the cut? Unlike Frank, who makes a reasonable case when he writes, Reality Check does nothing but insult him for his topic choice.

    Hey, “Reality Check,” or whatever name you’re using this week: Why so obsessed with Frank? Jealous because he’s smarter than you?

  7. Geezer
    It is certainly great to see that you have come to protect your new protege. Conservatives have given up on him; we’re going to let you have him. Don’t worry, he’s a good boy and will follow orders.

  8. Informed Citizen: Feel free to post a comment with facts instead of your unsupported opinion in it. Good luck. You seem to have no ability in that area.

  9. Geezer
    Your are being falsely redundant, yet one more time and it is so boring. It’s a nice day, why don’t you drive down to the beach and catch some rays and have a cold beer. You and MJ from delawareliberal could have a long philosophical discussion.

  10. Informed Citizen: Uh-oh. You’re using words you don’t understand again. Again, feel free to post a comment with a fact in context in it. I’m sure if you try hard enough you can think of something.

    Everything you post is simply an attack on people who disagree with you. I understand how frustrating it must be for you to want to answer our comments but not having the skill or intelligence to do so. So sad. Sniff.

  11. Let me thank all of my good friends that are so comcerned about my so called obsession with the sheriff’s issue. Look I didn’t come home last night and say, “what can I write about the sheriff’s issue tonight?”, Sheriff Christopher was on the Bill Collie Show, and to me at least, it seemed like a scheduled piece, am I to ignore this when I feel strongly about the issue?
    As for me being obsessed about this, well how many of you showed up to comment on my 1,500 plus word post about the tax exemption of the churches? Or do you simply show up to comment when I write about the sheriff issue? Now who is wearing the obsession shoe?
    Now let me address some of my good friend’s concerns.
    Reality Check says, “You read Both the Delaware and US Constitution with your own interpretation and believe it is GOSPEL” Well first of all I have no trouble telling the difference between the law of man and “THE” Gospel, though some of you can’t seem to tell the difference. And let me ask you “R C”, where do you receive your interpretation of the two constitutions? Do you simply wait around for someone else to tell you what it means, do you wait for your talking points and marching orders? I personally prefer to come to my own conclusions, I am sorry if I have fallen out of lock step with the little brains.
    “R C” then says, “What is even more laughable is that you claim to be a Christian Conservative, You must be joking,”.
    First I do define myself as a Christian, and yes I do define myself as a conservative, but you will have to lead me to a post or a comment where I have described myself as a Christian conservative, because if you have actually ever read the things I have written, then you know that I keep my faith and my politics seperate beyond my personal principles upon which I make my decisions. I will pray for you though, because you have now placed yourself above God in judging my faith, only God knows my heart. And unlike some, I do not seek to alienate some conservatives who may not be of the Christian faith, I believe that all conservatives should work together to the betterment of the nation, and all individuals should look to the beam in there own eye.
    Now let me address another of my good friends, Informed Citizen, I do have laugh at the names you people give yourselves, “Reality Check” is completely disconected from reality, and “Informed Citizen” delivers no information, you guys make me laugh.
    “I C” says, “Conservatives have given up on him; we’re going to let you have him. Don’t worry, he’s a good boy and will follow orders.”
    If you are talking about your type of childish, name calling, parasitic politics, style of conservatism, then you can have it my friend. I prefer my conservatism with a healthy dose of integrity, here is a link to an on line dictionary in case you need to look up the word integrity,
    And “I C” could you please inform me (there you go again, that made me laugh) who it is that you think is giving me orders? If you have taken the time to look up integrity, and if you think you actually have any, could you have the integrity to tell me why you think I am taking orders from anyone, just because I disagree with your narrow reading of the Delaware constitution? If you could think outside that shoe box you keep all of your marbles in, you would know that the last thing I am good at is taking orders. But if it makes you feel better to think that everyone has to be told what to think, like yourself, then you go right ahead. If you can’t put together a thought on this on your own, feel free to call whomever it is that pulls the string in the middle of your back.
    Now let me add one new piece to the puzzle. On the Bill Collie Show Sheriff Christopher said that the County Council was refusing to replace the officer that they are seeking to fire in an attempt to hinder him in some way. Councilman Sam Wilson called in to the Dan Gaffeny Show today and stated that this was false, that the council was not considering replacing the officer since his termination was being disputed. What sense would it make to go out and hire another deputy, if as the sheriff contends the deputy should not have been fired. This would either lead to someone having their hopes of employment dashed or else it would grow the department by another deputy. OH!!! Wait I get it now!
    Is this another case of sheriff Christopher spinning the facts, or just him not seeing the entire filed of play. No matter your opinion of the issue itself, you have to admit the sheriff has been out moneuvered at every step.
    One has to ask, if the sheriff had chosen a different strategy, would things have played out differently, would some of his detractors have been supporter? One has to wonder.

  12. “Christopher said that the County Council was refusing to replace the officer that they are seeking to fire in an attempt to hinder him in some way. ”

    With all the extra curricular activities and time spent by this Sheriff’s Office on business other than that of the County, it can reasonably be concluded that the Sheriffs Office has a surplus of time on it’s hand. If this is the case, then the County Council is acting fiscally responsible by down sizing the number of deputies that the County has to pay for.

  13. Frank, we hope that you can go through a day without thinking about Sheriff Christopher 2 or 3 times a day. Yes, I am teasing. Don’t take this seriously.

  14. Reality Check, the US Constitution and Delaware Constitution *ARE* “gospel” (so to speak).

    Now, what they mean is a different question.

    But tackling the process for understanding the Constitution is so enormously important that it is vital to fully understand and fully discuss what it means to analyze and interpret the written Constitution.

  15. Jon
    They certainly are gospel unless you misinterpret them. I just don’t understand how Frank can misinterpret “conservator of the Peace,” as meaning “paper Pusher.”
    That’s what I meant when I wrote that Frank discards what he personally doesn’t believe in.

  16. This is the deputy who was fired. This is the problem with “law enforcement” officers that are appointees who don’t go through the same background checks and psychological checks a state trooper or a municipal officer would go through. I don’t think this guy should be armed, or should have the power of arrest, he’s clearly unbalanced. The story is from WBOC:

    GEORGETOWN, Del. – Police say an off-duty Delaware River and Bay Authority police officer threatened to shoot people who were repossessing a car in Georgetown.
    Delaware State Police arrested Ismael Torres, Jr., 32, of Georgetown on Friday for offensive touching, terroristic threatening and second-degree reckless endangering.
    Police say Torres is employed by the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police Department in Lewes. Torres was formally charged Friday afternoon after an investigation was completed by police and the Attorney Generals Office.
    According to police, investigators were assigned the case on Wednesday after three employees of the Complete Auto Recovery Company based in Millsboro filed a complaint against Torres.
    The victims say that Torres identified himself as a police officer and threatened to shoot them as they attempted to repossess a 2002 Ford Explorer parked on private property near Savannah Road in the town limits of Georgetown.
    Detectives say that Torres allegedly physically threatened to shoot the members of the recovery service if they did not leave the property.
    Investigators say that when the Explorer was in the process of being affixed to a wrecker for repossession, Torres allegedly entered the Ford and drove it away from the recovery equipment causing one of the straps to hit a member of the recovery service.
    As a result of the investigation, police say Torres was charged with the following misdemeanor offenses: one count of offensive touching, three counts of terroristic threatening and one count of second-degree reckless endangering.
    Torres was processed and arraigned at Troop 4 and released on $2,050 unsecured bond.

  17. @ Reality Check
    “I just don’t understand how Frank can misinterpret “conservator of the Peace,” as meaning “paper Pusher.””

    I don’t think anyone is misinterpreting “conservator of the peace” as necessarily being a “pencil pusher.” The question is what the authors of the Constitution meant by “conservator of the peace” back in the day.
    Because of the other positions in the state dubbed conservators of the peace, I believe a pencil pusher can be considered a “conservator of the peace”. I also believe that almost anyone working for the towns and government in some official capacity in those days was expected to conserve the peace as a general guideline of operation.
    There wasn’t a lot of day to day communication between government entities back then so I believe there were general guidelines to follow so that things didn’t get out of hand. Judges and other people in charge of administrative duties in these towns and municipalities I think were automatically expected to be conservators of the peace.
    For instance, property disputes or water issues could escalate into a situation that wasn’t considered peaceful if the proper administrative steps weren’t taken beforehand to ensure consistency in solving particular issues. So the administrators or “pencil pushers” in this case were in fact “conservators of the peace.
    Also if the people in charge of running small towns and municipalities were to allow, by law or decree, certain activities to take place in these towns, they would be violating the general guideline of conserving the peace. Think prostitution or prize fighting in the streets.
    So you see, a person who conserves the peace doesn’t necessarily have to have arresting powers to be considered a “conservator of the peace”.

  18. I see a “conservator of the peace” doesn’t have to pay off his auto loan, either.

  19. Geezer
    You should be more concerned about your auto loan, instead of Sheriff Christopher’s. It must be nice to have your nose up everyone else’s butt. Does it smell good?

  20. The repo guys were acting as “conservators of the peace” in their own capacity.

  21. Fighting Blue Hen, I am with you most of the way, but you leave an important question unanswered.

    If a Judge = Conservator of the Peae

    Attorney General = Conservator of the Peace

    Sheriff = Conservator of the Peace

    So, Judge = Attorney General = Sheriff = Conservator of the Peace

    Therefore, Judge = Attorney General = Sheriff

    So, by your reasoning a Judge is a Sheriff, a Sheriff is a Judge, the Attorney General is a Judge, a Judge is Attorney General because THEY ARE ALL CONSERVATORS OF THE PEACE.


    Is the Constitution saying “among the Sheriff’s other duties, he is also a Conservator of the Peace, too”

  22. Mosely, your second inference is close to what I was getting at , but rather than what you say as, “among the Sheriff’s other duties”, I would interpret as, a kind of “code of ethics”.

    I’m not sure about your logic on the first take though.

    Harry = nice guy
    Bob = nice guy
    Joe = nice guy
    That doesn’t mean Harry = Joe = Bob. It just means they have that one aspect in common.

  23. FBH, I agree, because I am obviously trying to say that “Conservator of the Peace” is *NOT* a definition. So if Joe lives in Lewes, Barbara lives in Lewes, and George lives in Lewes that does not mean that Joe = Barbara = George. Or more to the point, if Joe washes the dishes some of the time, Barbara washes the dishes some of the time, and George washes the dishes some of the time, that does not make Joe, Barbara and George the same person.

    But everyone is talking about how the Delaware Constitution *DEFINES* the Sheriff as “Conservator of the Peace.” That is a huge leap. I don’t see anything that jumps out where the Delaware Constitution is saying Sheriff = “Conservator of the Peace.”

    Sheriff INCLUDES “Conservator of the Peace” perhaps. But not Sheriff = “Conservator of the Peace”

  24. Mr. Mosely, I agree, the state constitution does not define “C O P”, Delaware Code does, that is the point that the supporters of the sheriff either don’t get, or else they chose to ignore it to forward the agenda.
    FBH brings up a very interesting point also in #16 “With all the extra curricular activities and time spent by this Sheriff’s Office on business other than that of the County, it can reasonably be concluded that the Sheriffs Office has a surplus of time on it’s hand.” I would add, with all of the time that the sheriff spends contacting and travelling to the many different “sheriff” conferences around the country, one might ask who is actually running the sheriff’s office? Is it Sheriff Christopher by remote control, or is it Cheif Deputy Lineweaver by proxy? Either way the people of Sussex County might want to ask whether they are being well served by the office and the man who says he is the last line of defense against tyranny.

  25. Well, as we’ve beaten into the ground, the question is whether or not the Delaware Constitution can be modified by a state law. I think everyone recognizes that Delaware Code purports to define a Conservator of the Peace. The question is why does that matter? How can the meaning of the Constitution change based on Delaware Code? For example, let’s say that by 2014, a whole new majority is elected to the Delaware legislature. SO they make lots of changes to Delaware Code. Does that mean your Constitution will be completely different in 2015 than the Constitution you have today? Then if the Delaware COde is changed againt 5 years later, will there be yet another, totally different Constitution?

    Do you get a new Constitution every time the legislature passes a law that affects the meaning of words in the Constitution?

    But my main point is that the key word is not “COP” but “Sheriff.” The fact that a COP clearly indicates law enforcement ADDS to the argument that Sheriff is law enforcement. But the argument STARTS with the meaning of the word Sheriff. The fact that a Sheriff is also a C.O.P. simply adds to the argument. But the key phrase is not “COP” but “Sheriff”

  26. Mr. Mosely, I now have to add you to the list of people who have taken the water running down hill tactic in this debate. Where you were once arguing the meaning of the phrase C O P, you now look to the meaning of sheriff. You are at least consistant in that you want to go back in history and freeze the meaning.
    I will concede that the word sheriff has ment law enforcement in history. You will also find a definition of sheriff that states,
    2. (formerly) an important civil officer in an English shire.
    Now what does that definition mean? Are we simply to read into this anything that suits our agenda? “civil officer” could mean no more than the delivery of official papers, could it not?
    But let’s look at a root word for sheriff, “reeve”, ”
    British . (formerly) a person of high rank representing the crown.” Now if we take your line of thought that once spoken in history, then a word’s meaning can never change, then a sheriff may only be able to represent a crown, and in the absence of a crown, may only be a civil servant, whatever that may mean.
    Your line of thought here makes no sense to me. If you have read Delaware code then you know that “A” general assembly at some point in history did define the powers and authority of the office of sheriff, so would you have us believe that “that” GA had no power to bestow such powers upon the office? Or will you admit that since a previous GA has bestowed powers upon the office of sheriff, then the GA has the power to repeal said powers and authority from the office of the sheriff? It can’t be both.
    I believe that you and many others are mistaking what is the “TITLE” of sheriff and also the “TITLE” of C O P, for what is the definition of those two titles, which are not defined in the state constitution and therefore there is no conflict between code and constitution.
    At my job I have the title of delivery driver. So does that mean that my job is nothing more than making deliveries? Delivery driver seems pretty straight forward. But my employer expects much more from me, and this has been defined both in writing and in verbal commands. Now this is not exactly aplles to apples, but I think you see the point I am making. Without a clear definition of the powers and authority for the office, then the sheriff would be autonomous with no check or balance for four years. Surely our framers here in Delaware were not so short sighted, surely they did not intend to create an office that could do as it pleased for four years with no input from a legislative body, the sheriff has been described as a part of the executive branch which according to the state constitution I would agree, but any executive branch has a legislative branch to check them. In this case I believe that it is the GA, or else all of the code relating to the Attorney General must be stricken as well as many others.

  27. I agree with most of what you are saying, Mr. Knotts. (Again using your preference for names, not intending to be cold or in any way disrespectful.)

    I believe that if an office is created by the legislature, the legislature can define it. Even where the Constitution establishes an office, the legislature (like Congress at the Federal level) can regulate it and modify it around the edges.

    But where the Constitution establishes an office — if it does — the legilsature cannot turn its meaning on its head.

    Yes, I do think that the Delaware Constitution’s use of a mere title has great meaning…. IF that title is well-understood by those who wrote the Delaware Constitution and has an identifiable meaning as a “term of art.”

    So, for example, if the DE Constitution provides that every member of the legislature shall have one paid assistant, the legislature could define what each of them wants the assistant to do.

    But if the DE Constitution provides that each member of the legislature shall have a lawyer paid for to help them read proposed bills and draft proposed bills, they could not transform that into someone to wash their car and mow their lawn.

    It is entirely possible that in the Delaware historical experience Sheriff meant an adjunct of the court, to serve papers and run the court’s detention center for those accused before the court and maintain security for the court. So if we look to what “Sheriff” meant in the minds of those who wrote the DE Constitution, Sherriff Christopher might LOSE that argument, and there might be no grounds for cllaiming that a Sheriff is a generalized law enforcement officer (ie outside of the courthouse complex). That was one of the possible meanings out there in history. For sure.

    The fact that in some States Sherriff was the guy wearing the badge with the star, does not mean that is what the word meant to those who wrote DE Constitution.

    I also allowed that if “Sheriff” was plausibly ambiguous in the historical experience of Delaware colony, then the authority of the legislature to “pick one” (or more accurately pretend that one choice was always intended) is much greater, although this seems implausible if the DE legislature can keep flipping back and forth.

    I also allowed that I would much rather see a clear amendment to the DE Constitution changing Sheriff as being an unnecessary extravagance in a small State — even if just to be on the safe side — rather than treating the Constitution like it just doesn’t matter. I think any treatment of any Constitution like it can be bent, folded, or spindled at will weakens the very idea of a constitution in general and hurts everyone in the USA. I would much rather throw Sheriff Christopher overboard than weaken the Constitution.

  28. Mr. Mosely, you view has no foundation. You say, “But where the Constitution establishes an office — if it does — the legilsature cannot turn its meaning on its head.”
    This is a circular argument, please tell me what the office of the sheriff is empowered to do or not do based solely on the state constitution? Or are you saying that the framers intended that the office of the sheriff would have no bounds, no checks and balance, would operate with impunity, would be allowed to operate in any manor that the current sheriff would see fit, and only have to answer for charges of corruption or over reach every four years? Does that seem like something our founding fathers would have allowed?
    I have to once again ridicule your idea of words frozen in time. This is the same ideology that the man made global warming crowd uses. They seem to think that there was some moment in time when the earth was at an optimal temperature. You seem to think that we can go back and find the meaning of a word at the time that best suits our purpose and it is forever frozen in meaning and time.
    Your example of a “paid assistant” is not applicable since your example is so much more specific than either the term “C O P” or the title of sheriff. Your example actually gives an instruction, were as neither of those two do.

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