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United States presidents are allowed only two four-year terms so that they can’t cause too much trouble. The Putnam County sheriff, Don Smith, has been in office four terms. Such a long hold on power tends to breed corruption. And, indeed, Don Smith has admitted to abusing his power to attack an enemy.
Regarding damaging press releases he issued against his enemy, Smith admitted, “These statements were untrue and I should not have made them.” How can we trust such a man to impartially enforce the law?
To re-elect Don Smith would be to reward lying and recklessness by a powerful official. Putnam taxpayers now must pay $125,000 of the settlement resulting from Don Smith’s political vendetta. Another lawsuit against Putnam is still pending.
His opponent in the current election is Robert Langley, a tall man with a polite disposition and a quiet, commanding presence. Langley was born and raised in Putnam County and lives in Garrison.
Unlike Don Smith, Langley has devoted his career to law enforcement. He served in the Putnam sheriff’s department from 1984 until he retired in 2007. He won many commendations for his work there. Now he runs his own security company. Langley understands the law and respects its limits. The fact that he has served in three volunteer fire departments further demonstrates his public-spiritedness.
Probably because of his work as a criminal investigator, Langley listens before he speaks and asks questions before he comes to conclusions. These are rare qualities in a public official, and they are urgently needed in the sheriff’s department today.
-Eliza Starbuck, Cold Spring, NY
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