From News3's website:
In their first live televised debate, both incumbent Sheriff Mark Luttrell and Democrat Reginald French answered some tough questions.
Especially on campaign contributions. Both admitted taking money from convicted felons.
"I make no apologies for working with people who are contributing to the betterment of society who have paid their debt to society," says Luttrell.
I see in the debate that French and Luttrell believe it is ok to take money from Cocaine dealers and other criminal types. French gets a pass on this because he is under no policy. Luttrell is violating the SCSO Policy against fraternizing with person's of ill repute. It's not Rusty or Tanner or anyone else, it's Luttrell violating our policy, not the law. Here is the policy:
“An employee will avoid developing associations or dealings with persons, other than immediate family members, who they know, or should have known, are persons under criminal investigation or indictment, who have been imprisoned or convicted of a felony, who are known criminals, or who are involved in criminal activity except as necessary in the performance of official duties.”
The salient part of this policy says, "who they know, or should have known, are persons under criminal investigation or indictment, who have been imprisoned or convicted of a felony, who are known criminals, or who are involved in criminal activity". This means that Luttrell should have known about those three felons, but also Harold Ford, Sr. who gave him $1000 and had been indicted. Bobby Lanier also fits into this group as do several others but Luttrell thinks he is above the policy. All the while, he punished deputies for just visiting a man.
Wm. B. Tanner was under indictment at the time Luttrell attended a fund raiser at his home where Joe Cooper was also in attendance. The policy also says we are to "avoid developing associations or dealings ". I believe attending a party at his home was both developing an association and dealing with Mr Tanner. We don't know what kinds of “deals” were discussed, but Wm B. Tanner had a history of "deals" as I recall.
It appears Mark and Reginald are actually the same person, doesn't it. The distinction is that Mark is the Sheriff. Shame on you Mark Luttrell for associating and dealing while punishing for less than your infractions.