City Code Enforcer Joins Race For Sheriff Sheriff Clegg, Now Republican, Hasn’t Said Whether He’ll Run

A Coeur d’Alene city code enforcement officer announced Tuesday he will run for Kootenai County sheriff.

Paul Telebar, a 51-year-old Hayden man, became the second Republican to announce his candidacy for sheriff.

Sheriff Pierce Clegg has not announced whether he intends to run for re-election.

Telebar said he believes the sheriff’s department is top heavy with administrators who instead should be on the street as patrol deputies.

He also questioned the size of the sheriff’s marine division.

“They have probably one of the largest marine divisions west of the Mississippi,” Telebar said. “I would have to ask myself, ‘Do we have that big of a problem?”’

Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said the department pays for a very small portion of the marine division. The rest is paid for by grants and boater registration fees.

“It’s probably one of the most cost-effective places,” he said.

Telebar said he also believes the Block Watch and DARE programs should be expanded. “Educating our youth to the awareness of drugs and crime is the key to future crime reduction,” he said.

Telebar’s father was a police officer. So is his brother, who currently works for the sheriff’s department as a deputy in Hayden.

Paul Telebar spent 20 years as a police officer with the Carlsbad Police Department in California. He moved to Kootenai County in 1978, and worked for the sheriff’s department for about two years.

He has spent the past eight years as a code enforcement officer for the city of Coeur d’Alene.

Tom Dickson, a former sheriff’s captain who was fired in 1994, also is running for sheriff as a Republican.

So far, no Democrats have announced their candidacy.

Although Clegg has not announced his intentions, he said, “We’ve met with our campaign people and we are doing some very serious discussions on it.”

Clegg declined to discuss specific campaign issues this early.

He first was elected sheriff as a Democrat in 1988 and again in 1992. In September, Clegg switched parties because he felt the Democrats had become too liberal.

Primary elections will be held next May, with the general election in November.

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