Unenrolled Worcester County Sheriff candidate Keith Nicholas (U-Warren) waded into the contentious Democratic primary today, criticizing Tom Foley (D-Worcester) for seeking "another taxpayer funded check" and hitting Scot Bove (D-Holden) for defending a promotion system Nicholas says still allows supporters of the Sheriff to be promoted over other candidates.
In an early morning e-mail, Nicholas attempted to referee the dispute between the two Democrats reported Wednesday morning on CMassPolitics.com. In doing so, he knocked both candidates, though he saved his strongest criticism for Bove.
"It is still a promotional and hiring process of 'who you know,'" Nicholas wrote in regards to Bove's defense of the Sheriff Department's promotion policies. "This is one of the very first concerns that the officers’ union addressed during my interview with them just a few month ago... If this had been corrected two or three years ago, as Scot Bove states, then why is it still an issue with the Officers?"
As far as I am concerned, 'Passing the written exam' carries very little merit," Nicholas continued. "Ultimately the real factors should be the top scores, job experience, training and personnel record...This 'process' opens the door for the person with a lower score, someone with a lesser amount of experience or training, and of course, a mere 'supporter' of the Sheriff or “whom you know” to get promoted."
Nicholas also criticized Foley, saying the issue surrounding his medical disability pension is not the fact of the disability, but that he would be collecting both a pension and a salary.
"Tom Foley had a very respectable and envious career. It is unfortunate that his career was cut short due to his medical condition...," Nicholas wrote. "The simple fact [is] that he is medically retired from one State agency and drawing a tax-free pension for that, and now looking for another taxpayer funded check.
"While many target his medical condition, I will not. To me the real concern is the public perception of drawing two salaries, earning more than the Governor, paid for from the taxpayer’s pockets."
Nicholas and Lew Evangelidis (R-Holden) will join the winner of the Bove-Foley race on the November 2 general election ballot.