This coming Wednesday appears to be the day that Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher will be handed his head. House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf has introduced HB 325, which will make “Delaware law clear that the county sheriffs and their deputies do not have arrest authority. Historically the sheriffs and deputies have not exercised arrest authority and the Attorney General’s office has given an opinion that the sheriff’s “power to arrest is no greater than that shared by any citizen.” Pete has decided to move ahead when Danny Short (Eunuch-Seaford) and the rest of the Sussex GOP tucked tail and pulled HB 290. Additional sponsors of HB 325 are Sen. Sokola and Reps. Barbieri, Bolden, Brady, Carson, Gilligan, Heffernan, Hudson, Jaques, J. Johnson, Q. Johnson, Keeley, Lavelle, Lee, Longhurst, Miro, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Ramone, Schooley, Walker, M. Smith, Scott, B. Short, Viola, and D.E. Williams.
Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf says he wants to press ahead with changes to state law that would make absolutely clear that county sheriffs do not have the authority to make arrests — contrary to what Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher has been claiming since last year.
“This isn’t a political thing, this is all about public safety,” said Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth.
We’ve had numerous posts about this self-appointed sovereign of Sussex, most recently on April 27. The man is simply delusional. His small band of vocal supporters (St. Bodie Girl, Ayotte, Wolfgang von Bombast, the Fatman) have used threats of primaries against any Sussex Republican officeholder who sides against the sheriff. They all claim to be constitutional scholars, but my guess is that they either used Constitution of Dummies or the back of a box of Sugar Pops to get their “understanding” of the Constitution.
Christopher claims that the Delaware Constitution gives him and his deputies arrest powers because they are cited as “conservators of the peace.” They have even gone as far as saying that the slang term “cop” is an abbreviation for conservator of the peace. It’s not.
Sussex Sheriff Jeff Christopher says his interpretation of that term is that he and his deputies have arrest powers, the same as other law enforcements officers who are also conservators of the peace. He says his power is established by the state constitution and not state law or county policy. He has repeatedly asked county council to provide more funds for deputy training, and he wants his deputies to attend the state police academy.
While Christopher has asked for more money for training, he has never told County Council what type of training he wants for his deputies. In fact, he allowed their constable certification to expire last year.
On April 25, a report was released by the State House of Representatives which was the most damning evidence of the wrongdoing by
Wyatt Earp Jeff Christopher. When the Chief Magistrate orders his judges not to accept anyone the sheriff or his deputies arrests as a prisoner, then you know that someone is overstepping their bounds.
Christopher appears to be gearing up for a legal fight. He’s raising funds through The Legacy Foundation, a shadowy Iowa-based non-profit, run by the former speaker pro-tem of the Iowa House. According to their mission statement “The mission of the Legacy Foundation is to advance individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government. Our efforts center around public policy research and alternative policy initiatives in, but not limited to, these core areas: state fiscal and tax policy, the creation of an entrepreneurial environment, education, labor-management relations, citizenship, civil rights and government transparency issues.” Nothing in there about constitutional sheriffs, however, they are raising money for something called the Border Sheriffs Project, an Arizona-based group. And we all know how bat-shit crazy these sheriffs in Arizona are.
The Legacy Foundation also got involved in the Ohio referendum election last fall, being accused of sending out misleading mailers.
What we don’t get is why a group out of Iowa cares what Ohio does in state referendum and Constitutional Amendment issues?
The Legacy Foundation, formed in 2008 by former Speaker of the Iowa House and gubernatorial candidate Christopher Rants, is sending out misleading, though innocuous looking mailers that appear to be simple reminders to vote tomorrow. The text clearly favors Yes votes on both Issues 2 & 3:
Yeah, they just want to educate people on the “facts.” Wonder if they’re getting involved in our school board elections.
All this time that Christopher has wasted on claiming to be a law enforcement officer (he’s not), has resulted in a 5 month backlog in sheriff’s sales down here. And that not only costs the county money, it also costs the banks or whoever holds the mortgages on those properties money. His office used to return money to the county each year under former sheriff Eric Swanson; not so under this small government Republican.
The sheriff down here is delusional. He has claimed he’s sovereign over every other elected official in the county. His supporters have even declared him to be the chief executive of the county. He is a far-right nut job with a gun, associating with white supremacists and militia men. He’s dangerous. And come Wednesday, he’s going to get a civics lesson and his comeuppance. It’s about damn time.