Letter to the Editor: Tracy Murphy Would Bring Accountability and Responsibility Back to Sheriff’s Office


I worked for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years. I served under four sheriffs: Bill Logan, John McCroskey, Steve Mansfield and Rob Snaza. I served in a variety of positions including patrol deputy, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant and patrol commander.

If you spend any amount of time as a law enforcement officer, you learn quickly that change is constant and inevitable. Every agency has to continually change and adapt to new laws, regulations and professional standards. Over my 26-year career, I was in a unique position to witness how our elected sheriffs managed very difficult challenges related to those mandates.

Sheriff Logan, Sheriff McCroskey and Sheriff Mansfield transformed our office into a professional law enforcement agency. Each of those sheriffs built on what the previous sheriff had created and brought their own unique style and approach to the management of our office. They understood and respected the idea that we were servants of the people and the money we were budgeting belonged to the taxpayers and not to be spent in a reckless fashion.

I have known the current sheriff for about 30 years. I worked hard to convince McCroskey to hire him. After Rob was hired, I went to bat for him when I believe  there was a push to fire him because they believed he was struggling as a probationary deputy. When Rob tested for sergeant, I was there again supporting him and did everything I could to convince upper management he would make a good supervisor. When Rob ran for sheriff, I made a monetary donation to his campaign, handed out flyers while walking in parades, and spread the word to my friends, family and community members that I supported Rob as our next sheriff.

The day after the election I saw a change in Rob. He went from someone who was humbled at the opportunity to serve to someone who appeared eager at the change to have the power and prestige. After taking office, in my opinion, he immediately went to work spending as much money as possible.

Unfortunately, it has become obvious over the last eight years there is more to being sheriff than just shouting from a mega phone or purchasing yourself a new patrol car with fancy wheels.

All of that leads up to me offering my endorsement of Tracy Murphy as the next sheriff of Lewis County.

I have known Tracy for about 25 years. He is smart, hard-working, fair and honest. He is well respected as a law enforcement officer and in the community he serves.

Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to work with a variety of groups and organizations to solve problems and get the job done. He knows how to work within the budgetary constraints and to maximize the resources he has.

The citizens of Lewis County deserve much better. Please join me in bringing back accountability and responsibility to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and vote for Tracy Murphy as our next sheriff.


Steve Aust