Issue needs clarification

To the Editor:

To the citizens and voters of Miami County concerning the candidates for sheriff of Miami County. As the executive officers of Miami County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 58, we would like to clarify a specific issue pertaining to endorsement of candidates for Sheriff and personal attack of Lodge No. 58 president undermining the campaign of one specific candidate.

At the candidates night on Feb. 24 at the Troy Junior High, the closing statement by candidate Paul Reece was not fully truthful and forthright. Candidate Reece stated that he was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, but failed to state that this endorsement was conducted by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 104 in Miami County.

This is in direct violation of the state of Ohio Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Constitution and bylaws pertaining to endorsement across jurisdictional control. To which: Article XXIV — Political Endorsements by Subordinate Lodges, Section 1 states, “Subordinate lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, Inc., may choose to make endorsements in elections held within the geographical area in which the subordinate lodge has the right to recruit and accept members.”

Political districts of Lodge No. 104 and Lodge No. 58 geographically do not overlap. As a result, the endorsement was rescinded by Lodge No. 104 and it is the stance of Miami County Fraternal Order of Police No. 58 to not endorse and candidate for office, whether it be sheriff, commissioner, council, etc. Therefore his statement is misleading.

As president of Miami County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 58, it is the responsibility of the elected position to uphold the Constitution and bylaws of the state of Ohio Lodge, as well as the national and local lodges. In the letter dated Jan 28, 2016 (posted on social media), directing blame for undermining the campaign of candidate Reece is once again not fully truthful. Proper procedure by first contacting LodgeNo. 104 was conducted with no cooperation and therefore a call was placed to the 5th District State Representative and so forth.

— Billie Ray, President

Harold Baker, Treasurer

Lance Ray, Secretary

Greg Simmons, Chaplain