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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

Apples, oranges and sour grapes

Last week I called Sheriff Milton Wright to find out why he had squelched, at least temporarily, the contract deputy agreement between Precinct 3 Constable Rob Cook and Cinco Ranch. I commented on what appeared to be some kind of turf war between the Sheriff and the Constables. Well, I later found out when I asked the Sheriff about apples, he answered with oranges and it now appears the whole fruit salad of confusion might just be sour grapes.

I was talking about the regular contract, the High Sheriff responded with a conglomerate of references to a separate “extra-job” contract his motorcycle officers have with the subdivision. Seems he thinks Cook is trying to undercut him and believes, from hearsay, that Cook put in a bid for $50 an hour to undercut the $60 an hour the motorcycle deputies are paid to work out there above and beyond the contract deputy arrangement.

Cook, who was busy relocating to his new office in Sugar Land, could not be reached but later explained that he honestly had no idea where the Sheriff was coming from because he was bidding on the contract deputy agreement and not the extra job. He had not tried to undercut the Sheriff on the contract hourly agreement because that is set by the County Auditor Ed Sturdivant and he was not trying in any form or fashion to get the extra jobs away from the motorcycle deputies. I apparently wasn’t the first person this misconstrued synopsis of random thoughts by the Sheriff was professed to.

The constables say they spend a great deal of time explaining various stories that are presented as facts to the District Attorney and the County Attorney. Seems someone is telling fibs or relaying hearsay that is not factual to these two legal departments in hopes of some kind of an investigation against one constable or another.

I said last week that a turf war is for punks, not professionals. I stand by that. It also appears that a great deal of time and energy is being spent trying to prove the constables or their deputies are violating laws, misusing this or that or just flubbing up. And, apparently since there have been no charges, open allegations or known investigations, the legal eagles simply haven’t found anything or do not agree with the interpretation of the law that is being presented to try to thwart contracts and daily operations.

In other words, it seems that a lot of energy is being wasted on nothing more than what appears to be a big bowl of sour grapes. No one is quite sure why the Sheriff has a thing against Constables, but with the crime rate in the county soaring and more and more subdivisions resorting to what they feel is a need for extra police protection, that time and energy on the part of the Sheriff, or whoever is feeding him the not so factual information, could be better spent on the taxpayers of Fort Bend County.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  September 27, 2007