Cutting the sheriff’s salary – good government at work?

Posted Nov. 22, 2010, at 1:47 p.m.

The Piscataquis County commissioners voted last week to cut Sheriff John Goggin’s salary from $58,710 to $49,000, citing poor job performance. The sheriff, like all county sheriffs in Maine, is an elected official and so does not report to the commissioners. The commissioners control county spending. Nevertheless, the sheriff has threatened to sue

the county for the move.

Does this development illustrate the problem of having an elected law enforcement officer? Is it good government at work, with the elected commissioners looking out for the taxpayers? Or was this merely political pay-back, with the commissioners punishing the sheriff for not supporting their policies?

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