Former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson filed a formal complaint in April with the Guilford County Board of Elections regarding the use of county resources to help pass a large school bond referendum, but there’s also another – albeit informal – complaint making the rounds that has to do with Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers in the time leading up to the Tuesday, May 17 primary.
Rogers’ critics are complaining that he’s using county resources to do some self-promotion and increase his name recognition this election year.
Former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, who lost to Rogers four years ago, said he was stunned when he recently saw a new county-funded TV commercial being run to help fill vacancies in the Sheriff’s Department. Barnes said the commercials are clearly meant to promote Rogers.
“They are more about him than about filling vacancies,” Barnes said.
Barnes said Rogers is featured prominently and also said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the commercials stop running on the morning of May 18 – the day after the primary election.
Barnes said that, when he was sheriff, he was careful not to use the resources of that office for self-aggrandizement.
It should be noted that the Sheriff’s Department is currently facing a major shortage of detention officers and the county has taken several steps to try to remedy the situation.
Another one of Roger’s biggest critics is Ed Melvin, who served as Rogers’ chief deputy and is now a sheriff’s candidate on the Republican ticket. One of Melvin’s constant refrains is that, for Rogers, it’s about “Danny’s ego” – and not, as it should be, about the men and women on the force.
Melvin said one big mistake Rogers made when taking office four years ago was a mass firing of deputies simply because they were close to Barnes. Melvin said that move was about ego and said that Rogers has, for the last four years, used the office to promote himself.
In the past, press releases from the Sheriff’s Department have usually included Roger’s name – but a recent press release from the department that came out near the start of the early voting period mentions Roger’s name not once, not twice, but three times in the first paragraph.
It reads, “Sheriff Danny H. Roger is pleased to announce a well-deserved salary increase for part-time Detention and Deputy Sheriffs. We are pleased to award a 25 percent pay raise, the new pay rate is now $25.00. Sheriff Rogers has worked diligently with the County Manager and agreed to increase the hourly rate. Sheriff Rogers recognizes how important our part-time officers, both sworn and non-sworn, are to the safe and effective operation of the Sheriff’s Office.”