As a member of the sheriff's Merit Commission, I would like to provide the voters with some facts regarding comments stated in Dave Lohse's letter ["Lee needs a new sheriff," The Reader's Voice, March 5].
First, the statement that promotions have been given illegally is completely false. The last time a promotion was given, the commission was convened, did interviews, and made recommendations. The candidates were all well qualified and had passed the necessary tests.
Second, in reference to the Illinois statute cited in the letter, one must understand the difference between promotions versus appointments. Chief bailiff, chief deputy and assistant warden are appointed positions filled at the discretion of the sheriff. They are not merited positions; therefore, the state statute does not apply.
Two members of the department will soon retire. Prior to making appointments, the merit commission was convened and apprised of the coming retirements, and potential candidates were discussed.
So, in response to the question, “Was the county's merit commission utilized?” – the answer is a resounding yes.
This is not opinion or hearsay, but facts. Don't buy into the negative campaign rhetoric. The facts are, John Varga is a good man and a good sheriff. Please vote Varga on March 18.