For members of WeDemandABetterPlan.Com, it has been a tense campaign, requiring a certain degree of fortitude to withstand the regular attempts at intimidation from Sheriff Simon Leis and his Sheriff's deputies. However, now, post-campaign, some members of WeDemandABetterPlan.Com are all rightfully concerned for our personal safety -- and even possible mis-deeds by law enforcement.
These concerns are exacerbated by the Sheriff's recent statements on WLWT Television, speaking about the rift in the Republican Party, in which he said of anti-taxers: "They will be destroyed." http://www.wlwt.com/news/14474263/detail.html
Now, we understand political rhetoric and statements made in the heat of a campaign as well as anyone. But when a man with a gun, badge and an elective office in law enforcement has engaged in consistently intimidating behavior, it makes even the most courageous think twice.
It started with the Sheriff confronting Pat DeWine in a bizarre manner at a Commission meeting after 55,000 signatures were submitted to repeal the jail sales tax imposed by Commissioners Pepper and Portune, and opposed by Commissioner DeWine. It continued when the Sheriff confronted Ed Rothenberg in a boisterous fashion outside a Commission meeting, and when he threatened legal action against COAST volunteer Jeff Capell. Other COAST volunteers report strange and aggressive behavior by the Sheriff in public and private settings making wild accusations and behaving in an intimidating manner. The final act of intimidation, until the WLWT story, was when Sheriff Leis' chief deputy Sean Donovan approached WeDemandABetterPlan.Com Chairman Jason Gloyd at the Price Hill Civic Club and called him a "fucking idiot."
Certainly, this type of concern seems over-wrought, even slightly paranoid. We understand that. But we also understand the consistently irrational and inappropriate behavior of the Sheriff and his loyal staff throughout this campaign. This has led us to wonder -- will the Sheriff exact his revenge in an inappropriate or even illegal manner after the election. Also, many of us personally have been warned that the Sheriff is angry and irrational enough to might to use the power of his office in these ways.
So, we defending ourselves in the only way we know how -- to speak out publicly about the concerns should he or his staff be contemplating any such actions.
Sheriff Leis, perhaps you could tell us what you have in mind when you promise: "We will be destroyed."