I commend Rock County Board member Rick Richard for submitting the resolution censuring Sheriff Robert Spoden’s attempts to interfere in the investigation of a serious injury that occurred during an underage drinking party in August attended by the sheriff’s son. The resolution of censure says the sheriff violated the public trust and his office’s code of ethics for officers.
As we teach our children, just because an action is legal, it does not mean that action is a wise or morally sound decision. Spoden’s arrogant and defiant responses to concerns by his professional colleagues and the district attorney illustrate how Spoden views himself from his position of power. Whether he has always been able to rationalize his actions, or his years in office have convinced him that the rules do not apply to him, Robert Spoden’s current unethical behavior signals that it is time for him to step down.
Those leaders we most respect hold themselves to higher standards than required by their positions. They lead with integrity, putting the good of those they serve ahead of their own interests. I strongly urge his supervising entity, the county board, to send a message that violation of the public trust and use of positional power for any reason is unacceptable.