I was surprised to read that the union for the Androscoggin County deputies voted against supporting Sheriff Guy Desjardins (story, April 29). I have thought that Desjardins was doing a good job. After becoming sheriff, he fought against cutbacks that would have cost the jobs of five deputies. Plus, he added another officer during his term.
It would be naive to ignore the possibility that there is some animosity because of the disciplining of the people involved in the infamous “duct tape incident.” Desjardins is in a no-win situation with that. There are people criticizing him because the incident happened and there are people unhappy that those involved were disciplined and jobs were lost.
Sadly, the union has gone two years without a new contract. Along with other issues, members are fighting the county commissioners to keep medical benefits for retirees. I wonder if their anger at the commissioners is being taken out on Desjardins.
Desjardins mentioned bringing in new equipment, enacting new safety measures, making changes to the staff and improving media relations as some of the successes he has had. The union stated that they expected “changes that would make it a better work environment.” But what changes they want or expected are left unsaid.
In short, it seems that anger at discipline, at not getting unspecified “changes” and at the county commissioners is being expressed in the one way available — by taking a shot at Sheriff Desjardins.
John Berry, Lewiston