Here's an opposing view of a recent topic - Why the mayor of Onida isn't a bad man just because he's been arrested for assault

Got this in my e-mail today regarding a topic I had written about earlier, where the mayor of Onida, Gary Wickersham, had been arrested after allegedly assaulting a man in front of his young daughter, and then allegedly assaulting the man's sister. This person, Rochelle Wylie, seems to think the mayor is unfairly being tried in the public eye:
Individuals concerned about this incident should call other respected business owners and citizens that reside in Sully County before you prosecute the Mayor in the public eye for an incident that happened in an establishment that is owned by the Sully County Sheriff. The accuser (also the step-son of a long time Sully County Sheriff’s Deputy) claims he was assaulted in front of his seven year old daughter at a bar. Why was his seven year old daughter accompanying him to a bar? Does South Dakota, or the Sheriff’s department have any rules or regulations about patrons/children of a certain age in the bar past a certain time?

There were no alcohol related charges against Mayor Wickersham.

I think these are over exaggerated allegations by some people that have used there relationship with the law enforcement in the county to their advantage for far too long. They have looked into the Mayor’s past, now look into theirs.

Mayor Wickersham has done everything he can to do for this struggling community for years. They have their own self-sufficient clinic that Mayor Wickersham helped to form and still supports. To this day he struggles along with the members in his community to keep this
important service alive and available for the members his community.

He is a good man.
Well, no one (at least not me) is saying that the mayor hasn't contributed to his community. But, to respond to a few of the points that Rochelle has brought up, let's take a look at her concerns, in light of the evidence presented through the news media.

First, at least from my recollection, the Fireside Restaraunt serves food. So, unless they're kicking back boilermakers, 7 year olds are generally allowed to be in there accompanied by a parent. Secondly, as far as I know, the laws on the books do not exclude law enforcement from arresting people involved in altercations with family members (and in establishments owned by family members or the sheriff himself). Third, they don't generally test for alcohol if you're arrested for being in a fight. They use the simple "he hit me" test in those types of situations.

The issue here is not the background of the people involved in the altercation(s). The issue is that a public figure was arrested for assaulting two people - one of them a woman. That's certainly not conduct for which anyone should hold their head high, much less an elected leader of the people.

Regardless, the final determination of guilt or innocence will be made in a court of law. Not in the media, nor in weblogs noting the media reports. And hopefully, the truth will be known to all.


Anonymous said…
The majority of the city of Onida not only understands the ridiculousness of these charges but also applauds Mayor Wickersham for standing up for the community. The two "victims" in this altercation are step-children of the deputy sheriff. Onida's residents are sick of watching these people do what they wish, knowing they won't get in trouble because of their relationship with the law.
Anonymous said…
This will be interesting to follow. Please keep us posted as to the outcome.
Anonymous said…
4:30 comments that the majority of Onida applauds Mayor Wickersham for standing up for the community and understands the ridiculousness of these charges. I am not sure what social circle this person hangs out in, but I can guarantee the readers of this post that this person does NOT represent Onida. The comments notwithstanding, physically assualting a woman and calling her names that can't even be repeated here is never excusable. Lest anyone believes that because a relationship exists between the victims and law enforcement makes this fishy, a witness not related will corroborate what has been reported.
Mayor Wickersham is only mayor because nobody wants the job and is an embarrassment to the community!
Anonymous said…
Did this witness have anything to say about what the female "victim" said to Mayor Wickersham? He may be the Mayor because nobody wants the job, but if anyone has a problem with him they could get rid of him. Obviously, that isn't the case. If Onida is so worried about this, where was the opposition at the City Council meeting?
Anonymous said…
Three cheers for the Mayor!!
Anonymous said…
Three cheers for the Mayor!!
Anonymous said…
anon 9:31 -
We have a mayor that people would like to unseat too. No one so far has had the courage to run against him, and I understand why. He's powerful and vindictive, and he has money and will pay for whatever it takes to get even with someone. Plus it's a time-consuming job that pays little or nothing, so people aren't exactly jumping at the chance to take this guy on. If they find the Onida mayor guilty, at least they should be able to get rid of him that way.
Anonymous said…
Well of course Rochelle Wylie has a opposing view she is the Daughter of Wickersham. There was NO excuse for Wickershams behavior, no matter what the cirumstances. A public official is held to a higher standard (or should be)goes with the territory.
I haven't heard any applause for the mayor either.
Anonymous said…
First of all Rochelle Wylie is wickersham's step-daughter. Secondly, the whole incident wasn't handled properly by the sheriff's department, in my opinion, which is a direct result of the so called victims being step-children of the deputy sheriff. I don't know how many times Amber Johnson has gotten away with hosting parties & giving alcohol to minors as well as stealing from various people & places. I think anyone who knows the "victims" would agree that we can only wish Wickersham would have gone a little further & put them both in their place.
Anonymous said…
i heard theres a petition going around to get the johnson family out of onida i'd wanna sign it
Anonymous said…
What fricken CRAP! I can't beleive an town is like this... But of all places I have lived and been this would definetly be the place where high a mighty citzens think they can talk crap about everyone else... My God, everyone SHOULD know what the mayor did was worng... If only becasue he IS MAYOR! Anyone else it wouldn't matter. IT ONLY MATTERS BECAUSE HE IS MAYOR! As for what others do, you should all mind your own DAMN business... The mayor is a public offical so he is our business.
Anonymous said…
bring on the petition
PP said…
Anon 12:07 -

whoa, what a post.

But sorry. unless you can cite verifiable sources, or care to publicly stand behind it yourself, this is coming down.
PP said…
Anon -

HEY STUPID! Unless you care to identify yourself and cite sources for your allegations, I'm going to delete them as libelous.
Anonymous said…
what are you going to delete? If it's anything negative about the johnson family the source you need is almost anybody in the town of Onida.
ggg said…
they're already gone with the wind.
PP said…
Anon, I think my point regarding your stupidity has been proven. You are quite ignorant.

I noted that if you want to post what you have been posting, you must cite sources for your allegations, and identifying yourself would also be a plus.

You will do neither, so consider your posting gone.

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