Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Briefly Considered: Coda in Owyhee County
Last night, Daryl Crandall prevailed in his campaign to unseat Gary Aman as Owyhee County Sheriff.
This morning, at the urging of Chief Jeff Eidemiller, Crandall's misdemeanor complaint against Tony Lopez for "defacing" a campaign sign was dismissed, and the citation was withdrawn.
Speaking to a small group (which included Mr. Lopez, his wife, and two of their sons) outside his office next door to the Magistrate Court, Eidemiller emphatically expressed his desire to be rid of the matter, which he believed should have been dealt with privately. Once Crandall had signed a complaint, however, State law dictated that the police duly serve it to Lopez, which was the only reason the Homedale PD got involved in the matter, insisted Chief Eidemiller.
The Chief, visibly relieved that the conflict came to an end without further action in the courts, said that the controversy over the "defaced" campaign sign had generated "a media tornado" and created conflicts among Homedale residents.
His face knotted in incredulity, Eidemiller recalled a threat he'd received from a local senior citizen -- a very agitated older lady -- to "kick my butt" over his role in the affair (which, once again, consisted of serving the citation to Lopez).
Lopez himself, a youthful husband and father of four who somewhat resembles southpaw bass guitar virtuoso Jimmy Haslip, was understandably relieved that the charge was dropped and the citation revoked.
However, he said that several of his friends at the Sheriff's Office are very unhappy over the change in administration and will probably be leaving the force.
Election night brought other unpleasantness, as well. According to Lopez, Crandall supporters -- in a festive mood and most likely into their cups -- drove by his home repeatedly until late at night, honking and otherwise taunting their candidate's most conspicuous critic.
Unpleasant as his experience has been, Lopez points out, the media's interest will mean that the publicity-shy and dubiously qualified Sheriff-elect "will have to tread lightly and mind his p's and q's for at least a little while."
It's in the interests of accountability that "the `No Crandall' sign will stay up for the next four years -- unless an unexpected change makes it unnecessary," Lopez said, with a defiant twinkle in his eyes and a satisfied smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
(N.B. -- Yes, I know the photo of Jimmy Haslip was gratuitous and didn't have any news value, but the guy's a world-historic musical genius who has collaborated with many of my favorite musical titans, so I thought I'd find an excuse to give him a shout-out.)
Want to know more about the police state apparatus inherited by Barack the Blessed (PBUH)? Get the book!
Dum spiro, pugno!