I took a shot at sheriff.. and got fired 'cause I was deputy

Not me personally, but former Beadle County Deputy Gayle Kludt found herself job hunting after filing petitions to run for the Sheriff has a big story in the Argus Leader about the situation:
The Beadle County deputy was fired a day after announcing she would be challenging the sheriff, her boss, in the fall election.

"I'm not going to be intimidated into not running," said Kludt, who's not the first deputy to campaign against a sitting sheriff.

While sheriff's deputies - like all residents - have a right to run for office, few rules shield them from the consequences of campaigning against their own boss.

Deputies can face less desirable shifts or assignments, or, most commonly, termination. And when campaigning deputies do stay on board, it usually creates a workplace that's awkward at best, and divisive at worst, say those who have been through it.

Beadle County Sheriff Tom Beerman denied that Kludt's dismissal had anything to do with her decision to challenge him for his job. Ongoing "personnel issues" led to her being fired, he said.

"I've never ran from anybody in my life, and I'm not about to start now," Beerman said. "It was probably bad timing, but it was all over personnel issues."

Kludt doesn't accept that explanation. She said when she first told Beerman in March about her plans to run for sheriff, his response was that she no longer would be in charge of the county's juvenile detention center.

"I told him 'OK,' thanked him and then went to the door," Kludt said.

About a month later, after collecting enough signatures, Kludt filed papers with the county declaring herself a candidate. The next day, Beerman called her to his office and handed her a terse letter:

"The tension now existing at the sheriff's office does not contribute to its efficient operation. Consequently to maintain morale and full effectiveness of all personnel your employment ... is terminated effective immediately," it stated.
Read it all here.

It just doesn't happen in the Sheriff's office. I recall back in 1990 when after a string of bad press for the office, Jim Schade from the Office of School and Public Lands challenged his boss Tim Amdahl at the State GOP Convention.

Much of the office turned against Amdahl, and backed Schade, who now owns a vinyard in Volga. And the firings started even before it got to the convention floor, where Schade eventually lost the challenge. That even included Dave Hazeltine, the husband of Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine - a fellow constitutional officer with Amdahl.

Yes, Amdahl survived the convention challenge. But he later went on to lose the general election. A bit of a cautionary tale, isn't it.

I can't comment on the Sheriff's situation, but the revolt within the 1990 office of School and Public Lands was one of the ugliest things I've ever seen in politics. (But 16 years later makes for a good story).


Publisher said…
This story has been playing out in the Huron paper for weeks now! Why is it getting attention from the Argus and Keloland now?

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