Opinion: Sheriff Hodgson should obey safety rules

Sep 11, 2020
To the Editor:
Never missing an opportunity to declare his responsibility to protect the community from lawless immigrants, mythical felons and all sorts of miscreants, Sheriff Hodgson conducts his public life with indifference and disregard for the laws, rules and regulations applicable to other Massachusetts elected officials.
The most recent example of his apparent self imposed exemption from a significant regulation was returning to Massachusetts within days of an appearance at the White House unmasked and kissing distance from another unmasked convention celebrant, before also being photographed with staff members all unmasked and not six feet apart.
To some people that may seem of trifling importance; but if you work for or are incarcerated in one of the facilities under his supervision, and come into contact with the sheriff or other unmasked staff members who may be infected, it is quite consequential.
For those who have followed the tenure of Sheriff Hodgson, his disdain for various laws and regulations comes as no surprise. One only has to remember the state audit that uncovered $348,000 unaccounted for funds that were withheld from the state treasury by the Sheriff.
And then the repeated violations of various sanitary code regulations previously, and recently, outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health come to mind.
The myriad lawsuits brought against the sheriff alleging wrongful, negligent or unconstitutional complaints, with extensive costs to the taxpayers for defense or compensation awarded to successful plaintiffs, is another reminder of lawless actions.
The hypocrisy of the sheriff, who characterizes himself as a guardian of the law and order of his community, deserves the condemnation and rejection of the residents of Bristol County.
Betty Ussach