Dear Citizens of El Paso County,
I’ve written a great deal on my campaign website about Public Trust, the foundation of which is honesty and integrity. You can read more about the foundation here: Public Trust Begins with Honesty and Integrity. In this post, I’ll address two additional key ingredients: accountability and transparency, especially when it comes to YOUR money.
I served for 25 years as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, during which I Commanded five separate field offices. In addition to leading hundreds of law enforcement professionals, I managed multi-million-dollar budgets. My budgets balanced to the penny, with full transparency, 100% of the time.
I’ll do that again as your next Sheriff, my sixth time in charge of a law enforcement agency. My record speaks for itself.
NO ONE else in this race comes close to my leadership experience and ability to provide accountability and transparency.
First Things First: Wrestling Back Budget Control
Sometime in the recent past, EPSO farmed out budget management to the County. As a seasoned law enforcement agency Chief, that’s something I’d never do. The boss needs to maintain control over his own budget. It’s the only way I can deliver on my promise of transparency.
On day one of my administration, I will regain control over my budget. I will also hire a professional Comptroller to manage it, someone accountable and reportable to me. Managing my budget will be the Comptroller’s primary job, and a full-time professional with the proper education, experience and finance credentials is important. This job is simply too significant to entrust it to anyone less qualified.
Accountability: Audits and More
I will conduct a full, thorough and detailed audit of my budget. Each time I was an Air Force Commander I did the same thing. I never took responsibility for a budget without first knowing it fully and ensuring that before I signed for receipt, that I was comfortable with what I inherited.
My audit will have reach-back, so I’ll be looking at how past money has been spent. Yes, I will turn over rocks, every single pebble I find.
If the audit discloses any irregularities, I won’t be shy about requesting support from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation if warranted.
I will post a detailed audit report on the EPSO public website. You WILL finally know where every penny of your taxpayer money has gone, to include the Public Safety Tax (1A) revenue.
Transparency: Weekly Oversight
My Comptroller will provide me with detailed budget reports. I won’t settle for simple budget summaries that only show major categories of expenditures (like what I’ve seen in response to my CORA requests to the County so far). Those don’t tell you anything useful.
Once I’m done reviewing these weekly reports, we’ll post them to the public EPSO website with easy-to-find links. You will see exactly what I see in real-time. I have nothing to hide, nor will I ever hide anything from you.
Honesty and Integrity: Walking the Walk
I’ve oftentimes mentioned that I am a ‘political outsider but a law enforcement insider.’ That’s very true, and when it comes to money, it’s key. When I get elected as your next Sheriff, it won’t be at the hands of the political class of El Paso County.
I don’t drape myself in endorsements from party officials, elected officials, or the elites of the political machinery in the County.
Those people won’t elect me, but you will. When I become your next Sheriff, it will be because the citizens chose me as a grassroots candidate.
That’s significant because my only special interests will be you, the people. The political class will not have made me Sheriff, so that means they don’t get to pull my strings like a puppet.
Trust me, nothing will frustrate the power base of the swamp more than its inability to manipulate me when I am your Sheriff…the People’s Sheriff in every respect.
I’ve recently turned down campaign donations from certain business community members because they do business with the Sheriff’s Office. While their intentions were honorable, and there was no expectation of favoritism expressed or implied, I could not take the risk that the mere perception of pay-for-play would occur.
As many of you already know, I won’t take campaign donations from current members of EPSO because I think it’s unethical for any boss, future or present, to accept donations from his employees. That means that I can never be accused of favoritism, vendettas, or cronyism in general. Everyone will get a fair shake under Sheriff Mike. Everyone will be evaluated on his or her merits and the very best will get promoted, not the politically-favored.
I mention all this because I am the real deal. Honor, honesty, and integrity will make a comeback with me as your next Sheriff. I am uncorrupted and I am incorruptible. That’s rare for a Sheriff. You deserve this and so much more.
Together we can do this. Please get behind me as I lead the EPSO into a future of greatness, one marked by honor, integrity, professionalism, and dignity and respect for each and every member who serves the public with the best of intentions. Become a delegate for me in March of 2018. Please contact me and we’ll discuss how you can help.
Thank you and God Bless you all.