The day your editor had another meltdown in his latest anti-Sheriff Robert Spoden rant, people in a local diner took notice. What started as a discussion amongst a table of regulars soon spread to other tables. However, before you start congratulating yourselves for a character assassination well played, it should be noted that the discussions generally ran along the lines of disgust and perplexity at The Gazette’s relentless treatment of Spoden. For months I’ve heard people in this community express their support for the sheriff as well as their condemnation of this paper for its shoddy treatment of him.
How unfortunate that a fading newspaper’s Hail Mary pass to (seemingly) sell more papers has been done at the expense of a man’s honorable 30-year career of service. The name calling of Spoden and County Board President Russ Podzilni was cheap and petulant. The lack of respect for the findings (no wrongdoing) and decisions (no censure) by both the state of Wisconsin and the county board has one asking just how personal this vendetta has become. To accuse the board of malfeasance because they didn’t vote as you’d hoped is irresponsible journalism. Ironically, in attempting to denigrate the reputation of Spoden all you’ve done is ruin your own.
If you want to editorialize power abuse and the audacity of those “who believe the rules shouldn’t apply to them,” then look no further than Rep. Paul Ryan, but leave Sheriff Spoden alone. Enough is enough.