Caucus slated for Sept. 6

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Republican caucus to fill the vacant Putnam County Sheriff's post has been set for Sept. 6, Putnam County Republican Chairman Larry Sutton said.

The caucus will begin at 9 a.m. in the Commissioner's Room of the Putnam County Courthouse Annex.

The office of sheriff has been vacant since the resignation of Mark Frisbie on Aug. 15. Chief Deputy Virgil Lanning has been acting as interim sheriff since Frisbie's departure.

"When a local office holder resigns, it's mandated by the state that the party the person who resigned was from -- in this case the Republicans -- has 30 days to hold a caucus to appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term," Sutton said.

Interested parties can apply for consideration for the office of sheriff until 72 hours before the primary. So far, four people have thrown their hats in the ring for the appointment -- George Schneider, an officer with the Putnamville Post of the Indiana State Police; Thomas Miller, a former Putnam County Sheriff's Department deputy and the current county coroner; Danny Wallace, a lieutenant and road deputy with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department; and Steve Fenwick who is currently the jail commander at the Putnam County Jail.

"We only have four applicants right now who have completed the application process," Sutton said. "But 12 are supposed to be in the process, so I expect we will have a lot more."

The application process for the caucus consists of two parts. First, interested potential candidates must complete a State CEB-5 form, available at the Putnam County Voter Registration Office, which declares they are a resident of Putman County and have been for at least 12 months. The form must be notarized.

Secondly, the prospective candidate must send Sutton a letter saying he or she is interested in the job. The letter must be sent by certified mail or hand-delivered. It cannot be sent via regular mail, Sutton said.

"That's pretty much it," Sutton said. "Everyone who has completed the application process has made sure all the precinct committee chairs have gotten resumes, but they don't have to do that. They really don't have to do a bloody thing. You really have to trust your precinct people."

Sutton said he was surprised by how many people are interested in the sheriff's job.

"That's the way it is," he said. "Some people will apply that you've never heard of."

The candidates will be voted by Putnam County's 29 precinct committeepersons. The vote will be done by secret ballot.

Putnam County Clerk-Treasurer Marty Watts will swear in the new sheriff immediately, Sutton said.

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  • Sounds familiar. In Putnam County everything is so secretive will anything ever change (buddy system). The voters need a voice in this event lets set up the voting stations.

    -- Posted by Reader2 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 7:03 AM
  • I agree with Reader2 on this. This party needs to pick someone that is not employed by the Sheriff's department. They NEED to appoint someone who has the experience but away from the Department. Let's not repeat the process by appointing someone using the good 'old buddy system. Let's get someone impartial in there. I can't wait to hear the other names as they put their "hat" into the ring. You'll be pleasantly surprised at some of the new ones who will be vying for this job. Impartial, Impartial, Impartial. Then whomever would like to run during the next election, let them all put their hats into that ring. But let's start now, by appointing someone who will get the job done, has no ties to the current Sheriff's Department and move on to bigger and better things.

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 7:11 AM
  • *

    I may be reading this wrong, but the voting process seems to be regulated by state law. The Republican party won the original election, so they get to decide who will fill that elected position for the remainder of the term that their party won.

    If you really want to break up the good-ol'-boy network, stop blindly voting Republican every time there's an election. If the Republicans know that they will win every election, then the real positions of power aren't publicly elected positions at all but being appointed to the precinct committee. These are not elected positions and, when given power through strict partisan voting, are really the wizard behind the curtain.

    -- Posted by tackleberry65 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 7:27 AM
  • Outside is not always better. One bad apple does not always mean that the whole basket is rotten. The Sheriff's Office has applicants that are very well qualified to do the job if given the opportunity. Just because you might work with someone does not mean that you are always good old buddies.

    -- Posted by B1161 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 7:59 AM
  • I don't believe the statement was directed at everyone who works at the Sheriff's dept. I agree they are all qualified, but right now this county needs someone from the outside. Let's get over this bump in the road. Everyone has their opinion. I know Mr. Miller left the sheriff's office. Now he wants to come back...I would too, the pay is great!

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 10:13 AM
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, (and I'm sure someone will!), but I believe the office of Precinct Committee person is an elected position. You can file your candidacy and run for this position. The problem is getting people to do it. It is in the party's interest if no one runs so they can appoint people. Just ask the Democrats.

    -- Posted by aok on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 10:59 AM
  • MR. Miller would do an excellent job as SHERRIFF and woul definately bring back the integrety to the department that has been lost.

    -- Posted by quadcab1 on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 12:15 PM
  • i think that a few of you are missing the point. we all want someone in this office that is going to do a good job what would be the point in putting another person in that isn't. We don't need a bigger mess than Mark has left us with. But just because some of the people that have applied for this position work for or have worked for the department while Mark was there dose this have any reflection on the job that they would do. I think that you would want someone with experience not some outsider that has no idea about what is going on or about regulations that have to be followed. just because there was one bad apple don't pin the rest of them as being the same way.

    -- Posted by readytotalk on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 1:41 PM
  • Are you saying that someone from the outside would not be qualified. I believe that they should they pick someone(from the outside) that they WOULD BE qualified. I don't believe that they would take someones application that hasn't been through the Police Acadamy, duh!Just because johhny went to school with bobby does not make them qualified. That's so elementary school. So in essence, what I'm hearing is that they should ONLY pick someone that has worked for the Sheriff's dept. in the past or is working there now. What makes you think an outsider, (who's qualified mind you) wouldn't know how to run a Sheriff's Dept. They all have to begin somewhere. Mark was new at one time. Thomas was new at one time. Steve was new at one time. And the list goes on. Some of these "outsiders" have been in law enforcement (State Police, and I think they would know how it all works) and have lived here all of there lives. So they really aren't outsiders at all. And when I say outsider, I mean someone from outside the department, not someone from Hamilton County!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 2:31 PM
  • I know three out of the four listed candidates for Sheriff. I believe that all these men are no doubt good people with law enforcement experience however; I wish as a taxpayer I could have a say in who I would like to see head our County as Putnam County Sheriff. My vote would go to Thomas Miller for so many reasons. I have known Thomas for five years and I believe him to be the best man to clean up this unfortunate mess and to rid this community of all the embarrassment that our County has endured over the last several months. Thomas is a man of great integrity, hard working, family man and a soft spoken individual with great compassion for others; however I think his best asset is his HONESTY! It is my belief that he will stand firm in leadership and take charge of any old or new situations that should arise. I only hope that when the caucus makes the decision for all us they do it with an open mind and look at each individual from the perspective of what this county really needs. We need someone in charge that will "take charge" and not let others make his decisions for him.

    -- Posted by alot/of/crap on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 5:39 PM
  • I have never wrote anything here but I feel like I have too. As a voting citizen of this county I feel that we should elect the sheriff to complete Marks term. I feel that the odds are stacked against the better qualified candidates. I feel very strongly that the next sheriff should come from outside the dept. He should be put in there because he wants to not because of the wrong reason. The person who takes over needs to be able to take control and not make promises before he wins. I hope that the next one who takes over does it for all the right reasons, and not because he is being pushed into it

    -- Posted by alsodog on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 10:01 PM
  • I agree with quadcab1. I think Mr. Miller would do a good job as sheriff. He is dedicated to the county. He has proven the county appreciates him from the past two elections. He was the highest vote getter in the county. I agree "ITS MILLER TIME"

    -- Posted by alsodog on Wed, Aug 27, 2008, at 10:06 PM
  • What part of this process do you people not understand. The Republican party will decide who the the next sheriff will be. It's not something that happens only in Putnam County but statewide. This isn't the first time this process has been done and it wont be the last. YOU DO NOT HAVE A VOTE other than talking to your precinct committeeman/woman. He/She represents you, if your a registered republican or if you voted Republican in the last primary. If you want your voice heard talk to them. Each person that applied for it will have their turn to persuade the caucus and then they will vote. Stop crying about it, you'll get your turn in a couple years.

    -- Posted by Nick | Nack on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 12:28 AM
  • My votes for Thomas Miller too!

    -- Posted by sickofitall on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 7:55 AM
  • Why cant we post on any of the Frisbie stories???? Stop trying to put a muzzle on us BG!!

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts=idiot on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 10:22 AM
  • Jim Reckor for sheriff!!!

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts=idiot on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 10:24 AM
  • I still stand by my candidate, Dennis, the UPS man. Please think about it people. He has the brown uniform, therefore saving us a uniform stipend. He has the brown truck, thus used as a swat truck. The electronic machine that he uses for acceptance of packages. He could use that to make someone who was arrested sign for their ticket. We could save alot of money. Plus, he's not too bad looking either!!

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 1:43 PM
  • I feel confident that whoever is chosen will be qualified.There is alot of training in law enforcement requirements and I feel the committee will review the resumes and make the best choice for our community. Remember we all have to learn to trust in our system again and Indiana law is the route being taken. I am surprised that we have 4 applicants so far and that is great!The more the better for a better decision.So far I think all are excellent candidates.

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Thu, Aug 28, 2008, at 8:39 PM
  • Lets start here, Steve Fenwick has been in Law Enforcement for 27 years. He might be the jail commander but he is also a MERIT deputy. Why would you want a Sheriff appointed from the outside that wouldn't know how to get the department on the right foot; especially who hasn't been in law enforcement as long as Steve Fenwick. Steve is dedicated and loyal to his department and I know for a fact that when he gets sheriff that if anyone needs anything, all they have to do is call and he would see that the situation is taken care of.

    -- Posted by sgt on Fri, Aug 29, 2008, at 11:07 AM
  • There are 2 questions at hand. 1st and foremost: Who would make the best Sheriff? 2nd: What is the best choice for the Republican party. The answer is the same. We do not need a Sheriff that has had very limited law enforcement experience. (Attending the academy and working a couple years is not enough). we also do not need someone who only claims the term Republican at election time. (Hard to not lead in votes when unopposed)

    -- Posted by Knowthetruth on Fri, Aug 29, 2008, at 12:33 PM
  • If we are going to state facts, lets do that. Steve Fenwick is indeed driving the former sheriff's car because the former sheriff got a new charger and advised Steve that he was to drive the old charger. When you are not in charge you don't make the decisions. There is a lot of information to all of these situations that the public is not made aware of simply because it doesn't matter. People only speculate what's going on and don't know the whole story. Let's just hope that the new sheriff does what is right and gets the sheriff's department in order and makes Putnam County proud.

    -- Posted by parentof ghssenior on Mon, Sep 1, 2008, at 9:15 AM
  • Funny thing that the Banner stops all the comments about Fenwick just because the most of them are bad. Tells you how the public really feels about the parties selection.

    -- Posted by racbac63 on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 9:12 AM
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