Former State Highway Patrol superintendents say the agency’s reputation for independent, nonpolitical law enforcement is being tarnished by interference from political appointees.
Secrecy surrounding the selection of a new superintendent, failure to investigate a case of “obvious fraud” by a state contractor and the scuttling of a planned sting at the Governor’s Residence prompted the ex-colonels to go public with their concerns.
“I can assure you there has been no political interference in these matters from this office,” Strickland said.
The former No. 1 and No. 2 patrol leaders trace problems to Strickland’s 2007 appointment of Guzman and the team he assembled.
“All of a sudden, we needed to be fixed. It was a daily thing. It is a daily thing,” said William Costas, who retired last month as a lieutenant colonel.
Shocked? I didn’t think so.
The “lack of institutional control” that I discussed last week seems to be more and more evident. Now, with these former high-ranking officials speaking up, it’s safe to say Strickland’s leadership gap has continued to widen.