Saturday, September 19, 2009

Culture of Corruption

I recently received a copy of the letter officer Ian Seivewright wrote just before taking his own life. He hadn't been with the Sheriff's Office very long, only a few years. He had no way of knowing what to expect, or how to respond to what was happening. If you aren't prepared to deal with the "system", you will definitely have problems. When an officer first hires in, they expect all the leadership to be the best officers, and that they will be honest and trustworthy. I only wish it were so at the SCSO.

From the letter, it seems Ian had called out for help on several occassions, but nobody cared enough to listen, or maybe the ones who could help didn't think it was in there best interest.

The sheriff claimed he was going to rid the SCSO of the "culture of corruption" when he first took office, back in 2002. As I recall, that was his mantra. There was a culture of corruption at the SCSO and he was going to clean house and make everything better.

Ian Seivewright tried to enlist Mark's support several times, according to the letter I have. It seems there are also several recordings Ian made over the past several years. I would hope whoever has them would get them to the news media and the news media would air them. Here's an excerpt of Ian's letter where he tells about how he felt Mark covered up for people who were on his team:

"So Then I called The Shelby County Sheriff, Mark Luttrell, and spoke with him three different times. He told me that he was going to get to the bottom of it, which he did…..made it go away, that is one hell of a SHERIFF OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!! LOL, Right!!!!! I hope that the recording of are meeting in his office and twice on the phone don’t come out to show the line of s__t he was talking. "


Ian never really had a chance. He wasn't on the "A team", so if there was a situation between him and one of those who was connected, he would be odd man out. This is how it works at the SCSO. Ian spoke of how the administration deals with someone they want to shut up. Here's another quote from his letter on that subject:

"I know that while everyone is reading this the Sheriff’s Dept is looking hard for something to discredit me, LOL. Guess what nothing there except stories that you better make up quick. I have had 1 (one) Write-Up and 1 (one) day no pay for the deer. I hope they are working hard to make up some. So I come out of the class in the top 3, I was #1 or #2 on the list of highest stats for the shift except for the last few months. I have had perfect attendance for several years except when I hurt my ankle off-duty. So why do I get over looked on internal jobs that get posted. That’s right I’m not connected and I called out the Chief son for misconduct. More Misconduct would be reported if it wasn’t that everyone knows that they will have a hard time the rest of their career. They see what happens if you do the right thing.
"


Ian was right. They tried to pull the same stuff on me when I ran against Luttrell for Sheriff as a write in. Mark was also right, the culture of corruption needs to be fixed. However, if you are a part of that culture, you cannot fix it. I am right too. It's time for a new Sheriff.

More to follow....

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ian never actually went to IAB to make a formal complaint, he only alluded to things. If he had evidence he was encouraged to show it, he never did. Sad he decided that killing himself was the answer. You can no more blame the SCSO than you can Sig Sauer for making the pistol.

John Harvey said...

That may be true. I'll bet it's at least true that there is no record of his complaint in IAB. What about his claim to have called the sheriff and spoken with him on three occassions? If someone out there has the tape or tapes, I hope they bring them forward.

You sound as though you worked in IAB. Are you telling me there is no culture of corruption at the SCSO? Do you think everyone is treated the same? What about a certain administrator who had a car wreck and left the scene? No punishment. And another who had multiple car wrecks - no punishment. And....

I think anyone who works there or has worked there knows about the good old boy club. The SO needs a house cleaning.

Anonymous said...

Ian spoke to the SHERIFF, The SCSO IS responsible as well as David Wing Jr and Sr and of course Jennifer. If the Sheriff can't handle the problem, then who can??????????

Anonymous said...

Ian didnt have any evidence, so what do you think the SCSO should have done? Poor boy was weak, if he loved his family he wouldnt have taken the cowards way out

John Harvey said...

That's one way to look at it. How do you know he didn't have any evidence?

Anonymous said...

Evidence??? Pictures of Wing Jr meeting Jennifer at the door of the apt and coming out of the apt after they got caught, while he was suppose to be on duty!! Please, it was common knowledge.
Ian wasn't weak, just couldn't believe that the Dept that he loved would turn their back when a supervisor slept with his wife. If he had been anyone other than Wing Jr., he would have been fired!! No doubt about it. But instead, it was covered up and he was moved to Homeland Security. That was after he continued to meet Jennifer where she was staying while on duty and in his squad car.
The only cowards now are the ones that don't step up and voice the problems that they have while the attention is on it.
If your in IAB, Ian did go there, they may not have kept a record of it for obvious reasons, but he did go there.

Marra said...

How dare you call him a coward and weak?!?!?! And he did love his family and his family loved him! Despite the fact that I disagree with his decision, he believed that it was a sacrifice he had to make to draw attention to the corruption and harrassment. And having personal knowledge of the tapes - there is evidence, so much evidence that I can't believe that Ian was the only one to sound off. Nice how you post as anonymous - who is the coward!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how you obtained a copy of the letter. Would you please show all of it so we can see for ourselves what it says? Doesn't look like any of the media outlets young Sievwright sent it to are going to publish it. Not sure why not.

John Harvey said...

A deputy sent it to me. I can't post the entire letter because there are allegations against officers that may or may not be true. I don't feel it is my place to post this letter, primarily because I am a retired deputy. I think the media could post it.

charlie said...

how do we make sure this does not get sweep under the rug?

Charlie said...

Hopefully the TBI will decide to investigate since the Sheriff's office investigating the Sheriff's office will only allow them time to make up stories. These problems are well known and while IAB may not have filed an official report, Ian was assured that they would take care of the problem. They were very aware of what happened, but as with the other problems they chose to protect the Chief's son, and not an officier that had been wronged. And now Lutrell wants to run for County Mayor, what a joke!!!

Anonymous said...

I have watched and read everyone's opinions and kept silent long enough. Yes his wife was wrong, yes Ian was wrong, both went outside the marriage.People need to leave the family to grieve. The real problem is the SCSO. Lutrell has no clue as how to be a sheriff. All he cares about is is public image or how he is perceived by the voters. People on the 9th floor do what they want with no repercussions. If Ian was sleeping with Wing Jr's wife he would have been terminated for conduct unbecoming an officer. The heart of the SCSO is the Patrolman/patrolwomen who do the work. Yet they get thrown to the media for anything that might tarnish Lutrell's image. Lutrell himself hit a vehicle belonging to the FBI at the academy, laughed it off, and drove off. If a deputy had done the same thing he would have been terminated. There are stories like this all over the 9th floor. Morale is down because we have "do as I say-not as I do leadership.

Anonymous said...

What's most interesting to me is the non-action of the media. Our local media, as a rule, LOVE to catch any SCSO personnel with their pants down! What a great opportunity this is to take the ball and run with it, interviewing people who are willing to talk, doing their own investigations, and presenting what they learn to the general public who have voted this administration in office. I've never had reason to believe they are fans of ANY law enforcement agency. Yet, there's been nothing but silence from the radio, television and news media, other than 2 brief articles in the CA and an even briefer request that the SCSO allow an outside agency to investigate the matters. And it's dropped under the guise of "we don't report on suicides". Yes, they do. I've seen them. All this secrecy from the folks who posted the video from the Martin PD just a couple weeks before detailing the exact address of the Tuck rape victim, along with graphic details of her rape. They were only too happy to report that the arrestee was a former employer of several law enforcement agencies, but now they sit silent.

There's something going on that we don't know. Any ideas? I'm at a loss.

Anonymous said...

Unless someone with some authority insists that the TBI investigate this situation, they're not going to. And who has that kind of authority? I mean, we can't just sit around and wait for the TBI to decide to step in. Someone must CAUSE that to happen. Who would that be? Legally speaking.

John Harvey said...

Well, we do have this district attorney guy, but I don't expect him to investigate this. He probably should bring a special investigator in from outside the county though.

Lee said...

Any Deputy that is willing to tell what they know can call Hank Dudding at the CA. He is the only media that has been working on the story.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and MPD is so squeaky clean. Glass houses, you know.

Let's see what comes to light when WW is indicted. Here's a hint. Destruction of evidence and conspiracy.

John Harvey said...

Having worked at both the SCSO and the MPD, I can tell you there are some similarities, but the politics in the S.O. is much, much greater and the "culture of corruption" permeates the entire Sheriff's Office. I don't see this at the MPD. Granted, neither place is perfect, but I'll take the current MPD over the SCSO anyday. As far as the officers from each entity go, they are about the same as any law enforcement group, just good people trying to do a good job. The difference is in the leadership.

Sandra said...

Everyone needs to make sure that this doesn't just go away like the Sheriff's office hopes it will. They are hoping that people will forget and it just disappears. Keep asking questions and demand answers. Otherwise you might just see Luttrell as the next County Mayor (his ambition). Is this someone that you want to run the COUNTY???

John Harvey said...

Trust me, this is not going away. The Sheriff's office is up for grabs next year and if Mark runs, he will have to answer this and many other questions. People are on the prowl for a viable candidate to replace Mark, and I think we may have one who can do it, and will do a better job than an non-cop. I'm thinking of pulling a petition or two myself.

Sandra said...

Who???

John Harvey said...

I'm told there will be many candidates. Some Republican, some independant, some Democrat. I don't think Luttrell will have the money to mount a strong campaign. After seven years, he only shows $65,000.00 in the bank. That is extremely weak. He will have to spend most of that in the primary and since he has lied to the people who put him in office, they won't fund his excellent adventure! Goodbye Mark! Maybe he can run a jail somewhere....

Sandra said...

Do you know the names of any that have actually been a cop before?? I can't beleive we have a sheriff that can't even carry a gun, or been a cop. How is he suppose to know what his men and women are going through on the street??? Maybe we have hit on one of the BIG problems of Luttrell. I won't vote for anyone that hasn't been on the streets!!

John Harvey said...

Sandra, all things in due time. Trust me Mark is going to get to answer a lot of questions and he will have people running against him who have actually made arrests. Keep watching this blog for updates as the election draws near. This is going to be fun!

sandra said...

Only fun for some, Ian's family will still be the one that suffers for this corrupt office.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it'll ever be fun. People who have integrity and wonderful intentions can still run up against a brick wall and not be able to do what needs to be done. The whole infrastructure must be changed, and the mindsets, as well, and that kind of change doesn't come about easily or quickly. I'm so sorry to become aware that these kinds of things go on behind our law enforcement doors. I get a knot in my stomach when I think about it and realize what a daunting task it would be to try to force changes of that magnitude. Yet I remember that old adage about the only thing needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. A whole bunch of us have done nothing for a long time, and it's biting us in the butt now!

John Harvey said...

The fun part will be watching Luttrell and his henchmen cleaning out their desks and offices. I've been fighting these good old boys since the day I hired in at the SCSO. Most of my 31 years was spent swimming upstream. Even so, I have many wonderful memories of my life and times at the SCSO and many fine officers there too. It will be fun when we weed out some of the bad folks.

charlie said...

i heard the DA will not prosecute anything in ians letter,gibbons must be part of the good old boys to.therefore there is no reason for the tbi to investigate.maybe the FBI needs a tip,i think its listed under [white collar crimes]or maybe we just sit back and see if anything is done?

Anonymous said...

what could be prosecuted? bigamy?? Just silly, this will end up in a civil court and the seivwrights will get some money, geez charlie, read a book. The FBI doesnt investigate misogyney (and i know you wont know what that means, try dictionary.com)

Sandra said...

The people that could and should be prosecuted are the ones that BROKE the law in Ian's letter. The ones that should LOSE their jobs are the ones that broke ALL the ethics policies in SCSO. I don't thnk this has anthing to do with misogyny (correct spelling, see dictionary.com) or the hatred of women. It has to do your immediate supervisor having an affair with you wife. If it were any other company, or any other person involved involved, there wouldn't be any question about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous at 1:29:00 a.m., bigamy is marrying more than one person. Nobody ever alleged anyone married two different people. Get your facts straight. And, for the record, the word you seek is misogyny. I'm jus' sayin', smarty pants....

sandra said...

Funny how the local news stations didn't cover this because "they don't cover Suicide" and all over the news on all the channels yesterday was the suicide of a sheriff in Mississippi. I wonder why they don't care about a local cop??? Sounds like the Sheriff's office got them not to air it.

Anonymous said...

Thaddeus Matheuws posted the letter on his blog.

Sandra said...

Re: CA Article October 3
ok, let's see some of the information that the Sheriff's office choose to leave out: first, the video of Ian and the "other" female was date stamped before Ian ever met Jennifer, not during their marriage. That the investigation consisted of interviewing "one" deputy and Jennifer. Big investigation!! That in the questioning of Jennifer, she said that the marijuana found in the home belonged to her "friend" Danielle, instead they let it appear that it belonged to Ian. And to say that there was not an affair because Jennifer said there wasn't??? Please, if that's the best they have in investigative ability, we truely are in trouble.
I think the Sheriff has forgotten about the Code of Ethics #106 he sent out to all deputies when he says that having an affair with a deputies wife, especially when the deputy reports directly to him, isn't against policy. Or SOR (standard Operating Rules)104 Personal Conduct - It includes not only unlawful acts by employees but also acts which, although not unlawful in themselves, would violate the SCSO policy 106, Code of Ethics, and/or would degreade or bring disrespect upon the employee or the SCSO.
As far as Bill Gibbons deciding not to investigate, I will no longer be involved in his campaign for Governor, if he can't handle the county, he sure isn't fit for Governor. It's a disgrace that he will look the other way.
I am not forgetting that Ian made the wrong decision in taking his own life, but as he said in the letter, home life is bad, work is hostal, no where else to turn.
The Sheriff telling him to "control his wife" instead of dealing with Wing. I'm sure his wife can't be comfortable with that type of advice.

Anonymous said...

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/oct/06/shelby-county-plan-b-retirees-could-get-pension-bo/

Check out this article which shows that the Retirement Board gave Seivwright's wife his pension and will be giving the child of hers a portion of the pension soon. Hmmm....Seivwright's letter said he'd changed all his beneficiaries from his wife to his sister and family. Did he miss the pension plan? Or did the Board just do whatever they wanted to do? What about his "son" receiving benefits from this plan? How could he if he's not the biological child? Was he adopted by Seivwright? If he was, then there should never be any comments by anyone that he's not "really" his son. Adoption makes it a fact. It's none of my business, but since it's all been put out there, I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

He did not adopt her son, and yes he left everything to a family member. It's hush money to keep Jennifer quiet,

Sandra said...

Jennifer received his pension because he was married to her for three years, you can't change the beneficiary on your pension without your spouse (regardless if she is a whore) signing away her rights. As far as his son receiving receiving benefits, I'm not sure, she refused to let Ian adopt him unless he agreed to pay her a large chid support payment, then she would let him adopt him before giving him a divorce. But Ian did raise him and considered him his own son. He loved, nurtured, taught, comforted him even though she was running around every weekend. She was "out of Town" the weekend before his death from Thursday to Monday with her "friends". Ian spent the weekend, as usual with his son. A father doesn't have to be the sperm donor.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer received HUSH MONEY for her and her son. No this child was never adopted, not because Ian didn't love him as his own or not that he didn't want to adopt him but he knew if he did Jennifer would use the adoption and her son as a pawn and to financially drain Ian further than she was already doing.

Lauren said...

I knew Ian briefly and he was a great guy.. I heard some of these stories from other officers about a year before his suicide.. I know he didnt make this up but I have no proof that officers involved told me these things... the deer ect...Where I worked I had alot of officers come in and hang out on the night shift...After I quit in Dec 08 I lost touch with alot of the officers... I just recently heard about all of this and after reading everything I am shocked that nothing was done.. what can we do to make sure something is done? I know its been over a year now since this happened but I havent read or seen any updates...