Dallas County Sheriff's Candidates Spar on Need for New Jail
Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard faces a primary challenge June 5 from fellow Republican Jim Romar, a retired West Des Moines police officer.
With neither candidate for Dallas County Sheriff annoucing plans for any public events before the June 5 primary, voters will have to comb old news stories and candidate websites to glean information on who they choose.
Sheriff Chad Leonard is being challenged in the June Republican primary by Jim Romar, a retired West Des Moines police officer. Leonard has served as sheriff since 2007.
In a March press release, Romar said that Dallas County officials had recently discussed the need for construction of a new jail.
Leonard responded that Romar's release was “dirty politics,” according to the Dallas County News, and said neither he, nor Chief Deputy/Jail Administrator Doug Lande has proposed the county build a new jail facility.
The controversy apparently rose after the county released jail population figures that showed near-capacity populations at times. Those numbers were inaccurate, the newspaper said.
“We found the problem with the numbers, not Mr. Romar,” Leonard said in the Dallas County News story. “It was a problem in our software, which we found, then adjusted those (jail population) numbers.”
Leonard told the paper that his office supplied Romar with the numbers.
“He didn’t find it on his own,” Leonard was quoted as saying. “We gave him those numbers when he came into the office and made a public request. He claims his release is not politically motivated, but it sure seems like dirty politics to me.”
Lande told the paper that the average population of the jail is still near capacity and that, on some days, the population is above capacity. The state lists the Dallas County Jail a 45-inmate facility.
An Earlier Story on This Race: