1. Myth: Rick was a Democrat in Texas
Facts: Rick is a Strong Constitutional Conservative
Rick's first foray into politics came in the 1990's with the Deputy Sheriff's Association. As a member Rick was appointed to lead the charge in getting the deputy pay inline with the competition as the office hemorrhaged deputies to Austin PD (much like whats happening with Kootenai Co. today).
To tell this through a fishing story: If you are going fishing for Bass (Rep) and have all the best bait but all that's in the pond is Catfish (Dem). Then Catfish is all you're going to catch.... and that's why he voted Dem in TX.
Rick began meeting regularly with the county commissioners (ALL Democrats) and developing a relationship of mutual understanding in regards to the county budget. Simultaneously, he began the same with neighborhood associations. These relationships resulted in closing the door of attrition at Travis County. During this process Rick designed a new Peace Officer pay-scale (POPS) encompassing the 80-millions dollar budget that was adopted and still being used today. Rick earned state and local Leadership Commendations for his work and through those relationships, without a compulsion to bargain, the commissioners still come to the table annually to discuss pay with the association.
Over the next 10+ years Rick went from being an association member to board member to VP & PAC Chair and finally President. The county commissioners and candidates for county commissioner were and always have been Democrats. Regardless of Rick's personal political beliefs and how he voted nationally his only options locally were Democratic. He voted for Governor and later President Bush. In 2008, Rick voted straight ticket Republican. He also voted for President Trump and looks forward to doing it again. Also of note that I think we can all agree upon... the Dems of the 90's are a far cry from those of today.
2. Issue: Rick has been divorced three times
Fact: True - Two of which occurred before the age of 25. How many of us aren't guilty of being young and stupid? Rick claims no such exemption but is non the less ashamed.
Rick has been walking steadily with the Lord since his 3rd divorce and in that walk has gone backwards to seek forgiveness from all he hurt.
3. Issue: Rick filed bankruptcy in TX
Fact: True - During the late ‘80’s early
‘90’s Rick and his wife bought a video store that she managed. Shortly
thereafter Blockbuster and Hollywood video were born and crushed their mom and
pop operation. This lead to a Chapter 13 Reorganization that was
cleared with all creditors being repaid.
In 2005, upon their divorce and advice of council Rick filed Chapter 7.
Today he is debt free and has a credit score in excess of 800.
These experiences were very humbling and embarrassing. However, he feels they make him more compassionate for others that find themselves in similar circumstances. And certainly less judge-mental.
4. Issue: Rick was fired from a 911 job in Oregon
Fact: FALSE - Upon retirement from TCSO Rick was recruited to be the Director of Columbia 911, replacing the original Dir. of 25 years. Rick immediately discovered working conditions far different than those promised by the Board of Directors and his contract. This led to Rick negotiating an early buy out of his contract and as a testament the agency subsequently went through a half dozen directors over the next few years.
Rick has NEVER been fired or involuntarily demoted during his career.
5. Myth: During the final public hearing on the latest county budget, Rick spoke in favor of the tax increase.
Fact: FALSE - Rick acknowledged the county has two roles; public safety and being the tax collector, and other than that county government is too large. After that, he thanked the BOCC for addressing the Sheriff Deputy pay-scale. That it was a good start, there is still work to be done, and they missed the mark with the Detention Deputies. None of the other attending candidates chose to speak up for the deputies.
Expecting the public was going to berate the BOCC for the tax increase, Rick wanted to accomplish two things:
- To give the BOCC credit for their pay-scale efforts, and;
- He wanted the Deputies to know and hear that he was paying attention to their situation and had their backs.
Rick attended the budget development meetings observing the creation of the final approved budget and all the work that went into it.
6. Myth: The Sheriff is really a executive that oversees employees just like any business of similar size.
Fact: FALSE - The Sheriff's office is run in some economic ways similar to a business, but has significant differences of responsibilities directly affecting the public, the employer and beneficiary of the services provided by the KCSO. While this is a common practice for many businesses it is absolutely not true for law enforcement.
To equate a CEO of a business to the Sheriff is to say that, in effect, they are interchangeable. A business CEO, installed as a Sheriff without law enforcement experience would have to speed read a manual of what to do as he suddenly becomes the Incident Commander when he shows up as a SWAT team converges on a dangerous situation. If you have never gone through a door with an armed suspect on the other side, worked a homicide, or investigated child abuse, then you have never felt those feelings nor can empathize with those that have. Nor can you ever garner their true respect.
Rick has lead all aspects of law enforcement (walked the walk) to include being SWAT Commander and he is also a business owner. Rick's business is directly related to law enforcement. His company doesn't make widgets, but trains law enforcement professionals how to do their job - better. Rick's decades long business experience combined with decades of law enforcement experience make him uniquely qualified for the position as Sheriff of Kootenai County.
7. Myth: A top secret clearance is necessary for the position.
Fact: Absolutely FALSE
That is purely a federal agency issue.
Rick has held command level positions, to include multi-jurisdictional task forces, and has never been asked to obtain such a clearance nor has he been denied information for not having one.