Sheriff, Arrest Those Sheriffs For Walking While Stupid.
The story that appeared in the Trib a few days ago, and now a Sept 21 follow-up story involving allegations that Sheriff Pat Hedges and Undersheriff Steve Bolt are accused of illegally eavesdropping on a co-worker and now a judge ruling that Sheriff Hedges must pay for his own defense in this case (vs having the county pay his legal bills) is bound to be a story with "wrinkles." Any time you read of an "involuntary transfer from the narcotics division to the patrol divisiion," you're looking at a story with . . . uh . . . wrinkles. Which will unfold as this civil case goes to trial. Or a criminal case pops up to run alongside it and a whole lot of worms start creeping out of cans.
Here's the allegation noted in the Tribune: That county Sheriff Pat Hedges and Undersheriff Steve Bolts "illegally taped and recorded a conversation between Chief Deputy Gary Hoving and a sheriff's sergeant. . . . Hoving filed a $1.25 million claim against the county Sept. 7 alleging that the sheriff and undersheriff secretly taped a meeting he had with Sgt. Jay Donovan in mid-October of last year. Hoving alleges in the claim that the taping was set up to capture a meeting between Donovan and Hoving regarding Donovan's involuntary transfer from the narcotics division. Donovan had filed a grievance against Hoving, who had ordered the transfer."
And there you have your wrinkles, . . . grievance . . . involuntary transfer . . . narcotics division . . . secret taping . . .
BUT, here's the biggest question of all about this case. IF true -- IF, I say -- somebody needs to please tell me where and how this county managed to hire any officer -- I say, ANY officer -- who has never seen a single episode of the various Law and Order franchies, any P.I. series of any stripe, Shark, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, NYPD Blue,any one of dozens of police procedural shows endlessly running on TV who does not know that you do not secretly tape, wire, film anybody anywhere doing anything without a court order.
Unless you're President Bush, of course.
And you don't do that because not only is it illegal, whatever you manage to capture will likely, if discovered, be "poison fruit," and not admissible in court so your efforts will likely be ruined anyway, which means you risk your career and your freedom to even be thinking about doing something that stupid.
And here's the kicker, a clean police department with a clean "wire request" record won't have a lot of trouble getting warrants from clean judges on clean evidence of possible wrondoing that needs a wire to continue the investigation.
So, there's the real question. How is it possible that there's anybody working in the Sheriff's Dept or even the head guy himself who does NOT already know that?