Sheriff Dan Schierman is being dogged by two ex-cops who want his job Nov. 5.
One is Larry Irvine, who lost to Schierman by 88 votes in the primary election.
Irvine, a former Las Vegas police sergeant, decided to run as a write-in candidate after supporters threatened to write his name on the ballot anyway, he said.
Although Irvine’s campaign war chest is twice as large as Schierman’s, his chances of winning are complicated by Independent candidate Tim Castle, a former Wallace police officer, whose name is on the ballot.
Both of Schierman’s challengers haunt him with accusations of mismanagement and reminders of Shoshone County’s past law enforcement controversies.
“His administrative faux pas have cost this county dearly,” Irvine said of Schierman. “He is anything but an administrator.”
Both Irvine and Castle resurrect the Steve Waddell incident to back their criticism.
Last winter, the state suspended its program that placed state prisoners in county jails after learning that Waddell was being allowed to do maintenance work unrestrained at the courthouse. Waddell was serving time for the murder of his girlfriend.
“When Shoshone County started housing state inmates, we were told, ‘They’re your facilities, they’re your prisoners, you handle it as you see fit,”’ Schierman said.
Now Schierman is actively courting the U.S. Marshal Service, which is considering paying the county to temporarily hold federal inmates.
Irvine and Castle also question Schierman’s delegation of manpower, saying it’s spread too thin on the night and swing shifts.
Castle goes so far as to say he’ll patrol the county on a rotating shift alongside the officers.
“We’re not L.A. We’re not Las Vegas. We don’t need a full-time administrator,” Castle said.
Both Schierman and Irvine dismiss Castle’s plan as impractical. Schierman admits a lack of supervision on some shifts, and said he’s working to improve it.
Irvine and Castle have their own ghosts to conquer. Castle was fired from the Wallace Police Department years ago because of a drinking problem, which he has since overcome, he said.
Irvine is known as an old friend of Frank Crnkovich, Schierman’s predecessor who was indicted by a grand jury after the FBI seized nearly 200 illegal video gambling games in a 1991 raid.
Schierman was an informer for the FBI during the investigation, and now finds himself having to defend his decision to snitch.
“I chose to put the badge on and be an honest and straightforward cop,” he said.
Schierman adds that relations with other law enforcement agencies have improved under his administration. He offers as an example the cooperation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the capture of thieves who stole 500 pounds of dynamite from the Lucky Friday Mine last year.
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