By LeaAnne Klentzman
Last week we told you all about the candidate forum sponsored by the Needville Chamber of Commerce. We discussed the sheriff candidates at length and touched on the handouts distributed about one of the candidates. Since that forum, the documents distributed that night have found their way to front doors across Fort Bend County, Facebook, phone calls, and emails to our newspaper.
The handout collection of documents are the 1998 Termination letter of then-Richmond police officer Troy Nehls; currently one of the four candidates for Sheriff. In the three page document, which is nicely covered by a colorful page resembling a Brady for sheriff sign, reads Someone you can Trust ? See for yourself… The first page of this document package is Nehls’ letter of termination, followed by two pages of what appears to be the substantiating factors.
Based on what is in the packet, the infractions are small policy infractions like failure to contact a victim for further information, the issuance of an improper traffic citation, an improper arrest, several times he was counseled for failing to cite residents for city ordnance violations (tall grass), and more than once he was written up for getting out of his police car and going into a restaurant without notifying the dispatcher. These are just a few of the terminable offenses listed in the letter that outlines Nehls’ shortcomings from January 1997 through January 1998.
Interestingly though, for the year of 1997, Troy Nehls was the recipient of the 100 Club Award for Officer of the Year for the City of Richmond. Makes one wonder, what is up with that? How does a guy go from employee of the year to fired all in the same year?
Shortly after being celebrated as Officer of the Year for 1997, in January of 1998 Nehls was terminated from the Richmond police department. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Fort Bend County. Begs the question, why was his termination not an issue then?
Nehls first worked for Fort Bend County under Constable Hal Wherlin. After leaving Wherlin’s office to run against him, Nehls was hired by the Sheriff’s Office. Again, his Richmond termination was not an issue. Since then Nehls has served as the elected constable in Precinct 4.
And now in 2012, he finds himself running against yet another old boss, the chief deputy. Now that the shoe is on the other foot and Nehls is vying for a position that the chief deputy wants, Nehls’ termination from Richmond is a huge issue. Enough so that the chief deputy’s minions are posting Nehls’ letter anyplace they can find a hook. Just another one of those things that makes you wonder… if Nehls was such a horrible employee while serving at the Richmond police department, why did Fort Bend County hire him in the first place? If he is so terrible and so dishonest, why did the sheriff and his staff help him get elected to constable? If all these candidates for Sheriff are so terrible, why is it that only the Brady supporters are slinging stench to see what sticks?
This ploy of passing out saucy documents is not a new game for the Sheriff’s personnel; they also pulled this stunt back in 2008 against candidate Billy Frank Teague.
The latest tool in political mudslinging is social media–the most familiar; Facebook. Nasty is the only word that can describe some of the things that have been posted there against candidates opposing the chief deputy’s team.
An example of how low that has all gotten is that Corporal Vanessa Brady, newly promoted, wife of Sheriff Candidate/chief deputy, has posted Nehls’ Richmond termination as her identity on Facebook. That is correct, instead of a picture of children, a sign supporting her boss/husband, or a photo of her family, she has posted the termination letter of one of her husband’s opponents and a potential boss as her Facebook identity.
Fortunately for her, on March 21, 2012 Civil Service took effect, and unlike in the past, she will be afforded Due Process when the new Sheriff takes over. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if Nehls is elected and becomes her new boss?
Other statements posted on Facebook by the chief deputy’s supporters denigrate Nehl’s military service. One person going so far as to post that Nehls’ was not overseas serving in the military, but as a Blackwater employee.
Funny, that is not the case with Nehls, however, that was the case with several Sheriff employees who took a leave of absence to work for a governmental contractor in foreign lands then returned back to their waiting position.
Another burr under the blanket of the chief deputy and his supporters is Nehls’ continued discussion about the Sheriff’s abysmal crime solve rate. The numbers used to factor those rates were provided by the Sheriff’s Office themselves, not only to Nehls but also to the State of Texas and the FBI, to create the Uniform Crime Report for Fort Bend County.
After realizing there was a problem with either the report or the reporting, instead of thanking Nehls for bringing it to his attention or sending him a fruit basket, the chief deputy got angry and said Nehls was a liar and told attendees at forums to come by his office and he would show them the correct numbers. Then, as if by magic, The Sheriff’s crime solve rate have been posted by a Sheriff’s employee all over Facebook (without citation) indicating they went from nearly the worst in the state to nearly the best in the state. As we have said in the past, the first liar doesn’t stand a chance. If holding true to form, the crescendo of nasty has only just begun.
Acrimony or mudslinging, you decide.