Retired Lake County Sheriff’s Captain Mike Ford Interview
Hostile Work Environment
Retired Lake County Sheriff’s Captain
This newsletter is part 2 of an interview Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. conducted with Lake County Sheriff’s Department Retired Captain Mike Ford about Sheriff Gary Borders and the Lake County Sherriff’s Department. For 21 years, Retired Captain Mike Ford was an integral part of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, and he worked directly for Sheriff Borders when he was a Major over the jail. (Click here for Part 1)
Ford has a long history with the Sheriff’s Department and a keen awareness of how it works. He retired in September 2011 as a five-year Captain; and, according to Lieutenant John Herrell from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department-Office of Professional Standards, Ford retired in good standing with no issues of poor conduct or illegality.
Retired Captain Mike Ford-About the Department
Q: Is the Sheriff’s Department in danger of EEOC lawsuits for a hostile work environment?
Q: Do you think Sheriff Borders has been compromised and is he in a position to be blackmailed?
Ford: Yes, because of his past relationships. He made me Captain to shut me up. I owed him, he gave me a chance, and I covered for him for 21 years. One reason he got elected as Sheriff was people like me covered for him. My debt is paid-we are squared.
Q: How bad is the morale at the Lake County Sheriff’s Department?
Ford: Horrible-it’s bad. It’s nothing anyone can do, no one cares.
Q: Do you believe the Lake County Sheriff’s Department is corrupt; and, if so, why?
Ford: Yes, because getting elected and keeping their job is more important than helping the everyday citizen. It is a 24/7 365–days-a-year campaign in which they have forgotten public service.
Q: Is this corruption widespread?
Ford: Absolutely. The command staff has gravy jobs they are trying to protect, and things like the recent Waldrop arrest for illegal use of the department gas cards is widespread. They all claim they are on call. I know, because I have done it.
Q: We have heard of allegations in which a High Ranking Officer in the Sheriff’s Department paid one of his subordinates to do his college papers while he was attending the Administrative Officers’ Course at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. From what we understand, it cost the taxpayers approximately $12,000 for this Officer to participate in the program, and he is now receiving incentive pay for this education. Do you have any knowledge of this?
Ford: I reported it to Peyton Grinnell. Peyton Grinnell said it was not a fire-able offense and nothing was done about it.
Q: A lot of people have been very critical of the Sheriff’s budget and spending. In your view, how wasteful is the budget?
Ford: First, the Medical Director of the jail has no medical certifications, no medical certificates-he is not even a nurse; but, because he is friends with the Sheriff he is making medical decisions every day at the jail. He is a friend of the Sheriff who brags about going to supper with the Sheriff and hanging out with him.
I’ll give you another example of how money is being wasted. Sheriff Borders has something called community meetings and he has 6-7 full-time employees who all they do is set-up meetings in gated communities. These meetings are really campaign meetings for the Sheriff. If he really cared about the citizens, he would put these 6-7 people on the road instead of his campaign.
Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. hopes (as well as probably the majority of our readers) that Retired Captain Mike Ford’s concerns of retaliation by the Sheriff’s Department are unfounded, and we will keep you informed. The allegations of a hostile workplace and questionable employee relationships against Sheriff Gary Borders are very serious, and we encourage that investigative action be taken.
In regards to the Medical Director for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Kevin Lenhart, we contacted Lieutenant Herrell about the allegations made by Retired Captain Mike Ford, and he responded via email with the following:
No medical licensing is required for his position. On a smaller scale, I liken Kevin’s position to that of a President or Chief Executive Officer of a local hospital.
As the Health Services Administrator, Kevin oversees the day-to-day administrative operations of the jail’s medical unit to insure that we are providing statutorily-required medical care for the inmates. His duties include, but are not limited to, overseeing the contracts for physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, and hospitals, and insuring proper staffing of medical personnel.
The medical-related functions within the unit are carried out under the guidance of a contract physician, Nurse Practitioner, and Director of Nursing.
In a conversation with us, Lieutenant Herrell admitted that the Medical Director has been investigated for giving medical treatment without a license and indicated he had been cleared. Our question to the Sheriff’s Department is simple: With budgets being slashed and money being so tight, how can they afford to have a “President” or “Chief Executive Officer” of a small medical facility who can’t even give a shot? This suggests either the Sheriff’s Department is not good stewards of the taxpayers’ money or the position is being filled for friendship or political reasons.
As we stated in Part 1 of our interview with Retired Captain Mike Ford, we will offer Sheriff Gary Borders an opportunity to rebut these allegations. We understand that political season usually ushers in silly season in politics; however, these allegations by someone so high ranking in the Sheriff’s Department is not a laughing matter. Somehow or another they must be addressed.
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