All of us are aware of overzealous campaign volunteers swiping rival candidates’ signs in the dead of night. It’s a thing that happens during elections. Nothing will ever change that.
News coming out of the race for Suffolk County Sheriff race details something far worse than the actions of overzealous campaign volunteers. One candidate, the acting Sheriff, is alleged to have abused his office and intimidated stores into removing a rival candidate’s signs.
Doug Bennett, running for Suffolk County Sheriff – in the 2014 elections – has taken out a criminal complaint alleging one of his opponents, acting Sheriff Steven Tompkins, actively removed Bennett signs from stores in Egleston Square last week, by pulling out his badge and warning them they would get on Tompkins’ bad side. He also says Tompkins called him a “punk ass bitch” at a City Council hearing last month.
A Roxbury District Court magistrate will decide Sept. 10 whether there’s any merit to Bennett’s allegations.
Such an allegation if true should result in the withdrawal of said candidate, whoever the candidate and whatever the office. That this concerns a law enforcement official makes it all the more troubling.