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Last week’s letter to the editor by Lisa Scott was titled “Oath of Office.” This is a misrepresentation of the original “Pledge for Sheriff Candidates” which I wrote, a portion of which appears below.
The creation of and goal to have each sheriff candidate sign this pledge was a personal effort, feeling it crucial to inform the people of Archuleta County of each candidate’s stance regarding specific areas of their Constitutional responsibility as sheriff. This pledge was written to better amplify and reinforce parts of the Constitution which we, as citizens of Archuleta County, hope to find exhibited by our next sheriff. As stated in the Constitution, the sheriff is the highest law enforcement official in our county, and his authority is supreme, even over that of state or federal government. In fact, the office of sheriff is the only law enforcement officer ever mentioned in the Constitution. This pledge is based upon constitutional principles, and a failure by our county sheriff to immediately recognize and act upon those principles at any time and any manner should be of grave concern.
“Therefore, in order to protect the American people, be it resolved that, the following abuses will not be allowed or tolerated:
“1) Registration of personal firearms under any circumstances.
“2) Confiscation of firearms without probable cause, due process, and constitutionally compliant warrants issued by a local or state jurisdiction.
“3) Audits or searches of a citizen’s personal affairs or finances without probable cause, due process, and constitutionally compliant warrants issued by a local or state jurisdiction.
“4) Inspections of person or property without probable cause and constitutionally compliant warrants as required by the 4th Amendment and issued by a local or state jurisdiction.
“5) The detainment or search of citizens without probable cause and proper due process compliance, or the informed consent of the citizen.
“6) Arrests with continued incarcerations without charges and complete due process, including, but not limited to public and speedy jury trials, in a court of state or local jurisdiction.
“7) Domestic utilization of our nation’s military or federal agencies operating under power granted under the laws of war against American citizens.
“8) Arrest of citizens or seizure of persons or property without first notifying and obtaining the express consent of the local sheriff.”
Mr. Valdez has refused to sign this pledge to the people of Archuleta County, stating this pledge is “redundant, over reaching, and takes away from the oath that I am required to sign.” Mr. Smith and Mr. Salazar have signed this pledge.
Regardless of who is successful in the upcoming elections, we would hope that every elected official and public servant would continue to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Constitutions of the United States and of the state of Colorado, and how these documents must guide their decisions and actions.