From Jeffrey R. Gahler:
Dear Harford County Residents:
With less than one month before the General Election, candidates are working hard to deliver their message to perspective voters. Most candidates are proud of their platform and welcome the opportunity to espouse their positions in candid and honest detail. Regrettably, Sheriff Bane has found this approach to be a hurdle too high. Sheriff Bane has again been tripped by the truth when he made false claims related to my contributions in the creation of a combined law enforcement effort in Harford County while I commanded the state law enforcement presence here.
On Wednesday night, October 1, 2014, the incumbent and I participated in a forum before the residents of the Bulle Rock community in Havre de Grace. During the forum, Sheriff Bane challenged my commitment to Harford County before a group comprised of roughly 50 residents and other candidates, when he stated that I had never proposed any joint efforts in Harford County between the Sheriff’s Office and the State Police (Sheriff Bane also made this same false attack during the taped debate before the Deputy Sheriff’s Union on August 28, 2014 and that video can be viewed here: DSU Debate).
I immediately reminded him that I had proposed the effort to combine the criminal investigators within the county to better serve the citizens and to more efficiently identify and handle criminal investigations. Sheriff Bane, being corrected on his statement, failed to revise his comments so I publically stated that I could easily provide proof of his misstatement. Sheriff Bane still decided not to correct his statement and stated that he “would like to see that.”
Prior to the end of the forum, Sheriff Bane angrily offered that if a combined investigative effort was ever proposed by me, then I never staffed it with troopers. This too is completely false and I took the opportunity to name the first two troopers who were assigned to the joint investigative effort before he, Sheriff Bane, terminated the program after more than a year of successes.
I have drafted this correspondence to set the record straight and to respond to Sheriff Bane’s request for proof of my involvement in efforts to protect and support the citizens of Harford County. Attached is the first page of a memo I wrote in October of 2007 while serving Harford County as a Maryland State Police Troop Commander. The relevant portions of the memo have been highlighted showing both the joint criminal investigative units in Harford County and Cecil County were both my initiatives and documenting that I and others met with Sheriff Bane on this effort. A meeting Sheriff Bane would like you to believe never happened. Also attached is a copy of a Baltimore Sun newspaper report that announced the launch of the joint initiative here in Harford County.
Over the course of this campaign I have expected and at times demanded no more than the truth from our elected Sheriff. Honor and integrity are the keys to the Office of the Sheriff and are espoused on the Sheriff’s own website. My expectation is apparently too high a hurdle for Sheriff Bane as he prefers to ignore facts and mislead constituents by attacking the truth. As with his invalid and unsubstantiated claim that I participated in the termination of 70 troopers (Dagger News Report), this new claim is without any merit and unfortunately just acceptable politics for the incumbent. Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard. An officer’s word can remove a person’s freedoms and should be beyond reproach. Many police officers have lost their jobs for much less than these statements made by Sheriff Bane.
To those in attendance at the forum, I ask you to simply review the attached documents and news story and judge for yourself if the incumbent spoke honestly or was playing loose with the facts to suit his personal attack. As for Sheriff Bane, I will again put everything on the line and offer to remove myself from this campaign if you can prove what you have stated as fact. If you cannot, which I know you cannot, I know you won’t step out of the campaign, so I will lower the bar and just ask for you to exercise some degree of honesty in the time remaining until the election.
Jeffrey R. Gahler
2014 Republican Candidate for Harford County Sheriff