Democrat for New Castle County Sheriff
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
There are currently over 1,000 abandoned real estate properties in unincorporated parts of the County. More than half are related to mortgage foreclosures. These abandoned properties are not only eyesores, but they attract crime, can be a health hazard, and hurt property values in our neighborhoods. Only modest efforts have been made so far to eliminate this problem. I have spoken to leadership in the Delaware Legislature about this issue, and have had a favorable response from those leaders about proposing legislation that would amend the current foreclosure process to force lenders to take the necessary and appropriate action to alleviate this problem.
The top challenges are the abandoned properties I’ve spoken about above, the lack of training for the deputies (there has been none under the current sheriff) and the return of excess proceeds to former owners of foreclosed upon properties. The former sheriff, Trinidad Navarro, had embarked on a concerted effort to return excess proceeds to those who are owed them. He returned a quarter million dollars to numerous people, one as far away as Montana. The current sheriff served nearly a year and a half before he made a partial attempt to return these funds. And this only occurred after I announced my candidacy, and plans to undertake this effort once again.
Another challenge is the financial oversight of the Sheriff’s office. The office handles approximately $20 million of complex financial transactions on a regular basis each year. I would ask the County’s Finance Department, and/or Auditor to examine random transactions, as well as review processes and procedures.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
I have 13 years of experience as a Deputy Sheriff, conducting the day to day tasks of the job.
I’ve served under the two prior sheriffs prior to the current appointed sheriff. I saw their service as efficient and honorable. It’s has only been since the current sheriff’s appointment that I’ve had the desire to run for this office. I want to put this important office on the right track once again, and build upon what the 2 preceding sheriffs had established. I’ve spoken with thousands of people while carrying out my duties, and have seen how abandoned properties in the County have caused neighborhoods to diminish in value, and have seen crime hold a grip on communities that suffer from this blight.
As a co-founder of the Police Athletic League of Delaware over 30 years ago, I’ve learned how environmental conditions contribute to delinquency and deterioration of neighborhoods. My years of volunteer work with the PAL, as well as my 10 years of experience with the New Castle County Police as a patrol officer and detective has given me greater insight into this problem as well. As stated above, my experience has brought about ideas for a solution to this problem.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
Currently I’m involved with my church, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, as an usher. I’ve been on the Building Committee and the Staff Parish Relations Committee. I stay in touch with the Police Athletic League and I’m active with my Civic Association.
Profession/employment: New Castle County Deputy Sheriff
# of years employed: 13
Education: B.S. in Criminal Justice from Wilmington University
Political experience: First time candidate