Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones, whose jurisdiction is roughly 45 minutes away from where the Dayton mass shooting occurred, continues to “shame” a political opponent for her response to the tragedy.
Sheriffs are generally sworn to uphold the Constitution, as opposed to police departments, which are charged with enforcing the law.
The Ohio Star reported Tuesday that State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown) faced backlash and even calls to resign from within her own party after saying “the breakdown of the traditional American family” is to blame for mass shootings.
Ohio’s mainstream media quickly picked up the outcry surrounding her comments, and several articles were shared by Jones on his official Twitter page.
The Ohio Star confirmed Wednesday that Keller has received death threats in response to her comments, two of which were substantiated while 15 others were being investigated. Dan Lay, the sergeant at arms for the Ohio House, confirmed with The Ohio Star that there were “threats” and “very dangerous remarks” directed at Keller.
She was encouraged to keep a low profile for the time being.
Sheriff Jones, however, continues to tweet about Keller and demand her resignation.
“Shame shame shame Candice Keller,” he initially wrote on Twitter. “Candice Keller should resign at once. Shame shame,” he wrote again a day later.
He’s retweeted dozens of comments from Ohio politicians calling for Keller’s resignation or an ethics investigation into her conduct.
Keller lives in Middletown, which is in Butler County, and she’s running for State Senate against Rep. George Lang (R-West Chester), whom Jones has publicly endorsed in the past.
According to a “Code of Ethics” for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, its employees are asked to “never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions.”
Jones, an elected official, is currently in his fourth term as Butler County’s sheriff and easily won his bid to serve another four-year term in 2016. Under Ohio law, only an “elective officer of a municipal corporation may be removed” by a recall, and only after the first year of that term has begun. There’s technically no recall process for a sheriff, sources explained to the The Ohio Star.
Some have started to respond to Jones’ comments on Twitter and are calling them “harassment.”
“This is harassment! Why would you keep tweeting about this? We all know it’s a personal vendetta! You are the one causing the problem and have put her in danger with this fake outrage,” said one Ohio-based follower.
THIS IS HARRASSMENT!!! Why would you keep tweeting about this? We all know it's a personal vendetta! YOU are the one causing the problem & have put her in danger with this fake outrage!! YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO HER!!! #IStandWithCandiceKeller
— Kim Justice 🇺🇸⭐🇺🇸 (@kimjustice62) August 7, 2019
“The sheriff is the one that should be stepping down. Last I checked, we are entitled to an opinion wether [sic] an elected official or not but there comes a time when it looks like harassment,” said another.
@JaneyMurph The Sheriff is the one that should be stepping down. Last I checked, we are entitled to an opinion wether an elected official or not but there comes a time when it looks like harassment.
— Jeremiah 29:11 (@watchman100976) August 7, 2019
“Why as sheriff would you continue to put someone’s life in danger?” yet another replied to Jones.
Why as Sheriff would you continue to put someone's life in danger? Why would you call her guilty but not call George Lang guilty with the Dynus scandal? Swamp needs drained!
— Kristi Brashear (@BrashearKristi) August 7, 2019
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Richard Jones” by Richard Jones. Background Photo “Butler County Sherriff Vehicles” by Butler County Sherriff’s Office.