Lack of Leadership During a Critical Time

Below is the letter offered to the public from Cedar County Sheriff, Warren Wethington. Sheriff Wethington is a board member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Sheriff Wethington was honored with a Special Recognition Award from the Iowa Association for Justice in recognition of his “Principled Public Stand against Police Misconduct” in November of 2019.

During these difficult times, we need leaders who are willing to make hard decisions. Leaders who will protect their constituents first. We have too many politicians now, who base the decisions on how it may affect their next election. A leader should always put the people they represent first, and their own political safety should not enter into their thinking.

I’m writing this letter in support of our State Representative Bobby Kauffman in this November election. The Sept.2 issue of the Tipton Conservative had several letters to the editor showing support for Bobby’s opponent. It is true Bobby’s challenger in this election has 35-year law enforcement career, the last 15 years as the Johnson County Sheriff.

I have had the opportunity to work with Lonny over the last 13 years I have been the Cedar County Sheriff. I like Lonny as a person; however, we are two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of law enforcement theory. I sit as an executive board member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. During Lonny’s 15 years as sheriff, he has been one of the most outspoken anti second amendment sheriffs in Iowa when pro-gun legislation is purposed.

Lonny has been a strong supporter of Sanctuary Cities. Publicly stating that his office does not inquire as to a person’s citizenship status, or condition of their visa. “If an illegal alien feels they may be taken into custody, they are less likely to report they are the victim of a crime”. This may be true, but if you are an illegal alien you have entered this country illegally. That makes you a criminal. I have worked with people of different ethnicity and enjoy them very much. I have great respect for the work ethic they bring with them. We need more hard-working, good people in this country; but there are laws in place dictating how to enter the country legally

The most disturbing example of putting his political career above the safety and security of not only his own constituents but the safety and security of every person in the area. In recent months Iowa City has been plagued with Social Justice Protests. Some protests turning into riots. I fully support anyone and everyone engaging in the act of peaceful protests. However, when a peaceful protest includes blocking interstate 80, this is unacceptable. Iowa State Code prohibits a person from standing in the middle of I80. Allowing this to happen places every person in the area in danger. These rioters made it impossible for people who required emergency care to access any of the hospitals.

The Office of Sheriff carries a great deal of power/responsibility. The Office of Sheriff is the only law enforcement entity provided for in the U.S. Constitution. All other L.E. entities are created through administrative code. The sheriff is elected. Elected because it is important that the sheriff answers to no one person, board, or committee. We answer to you the citizens every 4 years in November.

The Johnson County Sheriff had the authority, responsibility, and duty to stop this riot from blocking I80 but choose not to. This decision place a large number of people in danger. An example of how this decision affects everyone is while the interstate was closed by rioters, I received a call from the Mechanicsville ambulance service. The ambulance responsible for serving Mechanicsville and Stanwood was stuck on the Dodge Street exit. In the ambulance was the Clarence paramedic. Clarence covers Lowden. This means all of Hwy 30 was without an ambulance service because rioters were allowed to close I80. I called Lonny who was on scene and he made arrangements to get the ambulance out of the confusion. But again, the rioters should not have been allowed on I80 to begin with.

During the recent wind storm Democrat Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls and Republican Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufman both reached out to me asking what we needed and how they could help. I have a great deal of respect for both Zach and Bobby. Bobby has demonstrated his willingness to work with his Democratic colleagues for the best Iowa possible. I feel he and Zach have a good working relationship.

Thank You

Cedar County Sheriff

Warren Wethington

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