In this morning's Telegram, multiple sources confirm that there is no physical requirement the Sheriff must meet in order to hold the position. Part of the discussion centered around the Sheriff's former role as Jail Superintendent, a responsibility that has been moved to another officer in recent years:
Worcester County Special Sheriff/Jail Superintendent Shawn P. Jenkins said, “We have a job description for every person but the sheriff.” There is no job description or law setting out requirements to be sheriff, he said.Bove's admission that he was unaware of the appointment of Jenkins as Jail Superintendent and his misunderstanding of the requirements for the Sheriff's position could undermine one of the key arguments Bove has made in favor of his candidacy and against Foley's.
When Sheriff Guy Glodis was elected six years ago, superintendent was part of the sheriff's job, but Mr. Jenkins estimated that that changed about three years ago. A superintendent has to be able to perform the essential job of a correction officer, he said.
Mr. Bove said yesterday that the job of sheriff and superintendent traditionally had been combined. He said he was unaware that Mr. Jenkins now has the superintendent's job, noting there has been a lot of change in the organization in the past 24 months.
Mr. Bove said he thought that it was required for the sheriff to be able to do a correction officer's job and that if it is not, it should be.
In an interview with CMassPolitics.com last week Bove, who has worked at the jail for 27 years, criticized Foley for his lack of understanding about the Sheriff's office, at one point saying "It just goes to show how little he knows about the business."
The controversy about Foley's fitness for the job gained new life earlier this week when former Deputy Superintendent William Frisch charged that Foley was unfit for the position in a Telegram article and in letters to the editor sent to various news organizations.
In a Worcester Magazine article written before the revelations in this morning's Telegram (disclosure: CMassPolitics.com editor Lance Harris was also quoted in the Worcester Magazine story), Bove argued that Foley, 56, is less qualified than former Sheriff and Bove boss John "Mike" Flynn was at age 78:
“The difference (between Foley and Flynn) is Tom Foley can’t do it because his doctor says he’s disabled.” While Flynn may have had age working against him, Bove draws the distinction over the doctor’s note.Foley replied that the discussion over his disability is a smokescreen:
“Foley’s doctors haven’t cleared him for the physical aspects of this job.”
“To say I’m going to be walking up and down the tier all day is not what the sheriff does.The Democratic Primary is Tuesday, September 14. The winner will face Keith Nicholas (U-Warren) and Lew Evangelidis (R-Holden) in the general election on November 2.
“They’re trying to make this disability pension more than it is,” he argues, “(by) requiring me to go wrestle with inmates…it’s spin.”