Friday, October 19, 2007

Indicted Sheriff Keeps His Job In Potter County

On Wednesday, a Potter County Grand Jury indicted Potter County Sheriff Shumate on three felony charges. He was charged with bribery and two counts of failing to report campaign donations. Shumate had taken cash and gifts from Mid-America Services in exchange for helping them get the jail commissary contract.

On Thursday, it was revealed that the Sheriff will keep his job. The Potter County Attorney's Office said they will not be seeking his removal or resignation any time soon. County Attorney Scott Brumley said, "At this stage, I think a removal suit would do little more than get in the way of the criminal proceedings."

District Attorney Randall Sims agreed saying, "Sheriff Shumate is still Sheriff Shumate". Sims doesn't think the Sheriff can be removed unless he is convicted.

Somehow this just doesn't seem right. How can a man charged with three felonies be left in charge of a jail housing hundreds of others charged with felonies and misdemeanors? Oddly enough, the man running the county jail has been charged with more serious crimes than many of those incarcerated in that jail.

If the Sheriff cannot be removed and will not resign, then maybe it is time for county commissioners to examine the issue of his TCLEOSE certification. This law enforcement certification is required of anyone who holds the office of sheriff. Can a person charged with three felonies retain a valid certification?

At the very least, the sheriff should be suspended from his duties until these charges have been adjudicated.


  1. Not, only should he be removed from office, he should be denied bond and forced to eat the swill that is served to inmates.

  2. He's been tainted from the beginning.
    >Crime stoppers fiasco
    >Releasing inmates on weekends for cash donations
    >Charging cash for warrant information
    >Assaulting his wife in messy divorce
    and now this.

    I want him gone and I think with a public outcry the county commission will have to look into the law, remove him from office and appoint an interim sheriff. Hopefully they can find a deserving candidate.

  3. Well...he's gone now...he was just found guilty less than 15 minutes ago! And, therefore, the judge immediately removed him from office as Potter County Sheriff (can't be sheriff if you are a convicted fellon). He was found innocent on the lesser charges of campaign violations but found guilty of the felony of accepting bribes (from a food service provider for the county jail). He will be sentenced later...5-99 yrs to life unless he is given probation.


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