Those who read the July 11 letter to the editor by Edward Freyer (former undersheriff to Sheriff John Turner) must be scratching their heads. Why would Mr. Freyer, who had little contact with the Walla Walla County Auditor’s Office and who lives in California, have any interest in our county auditor’s race?
I submit that he doesn’t — but his former boss does!
In Mr. Freyer’s letter he unfairly and incorrectly states that: “The Auditor’s Office has created a divisive atmosphere ...”
Karen Martin has been our auditor for some 15 years and during that time she has demonstrated a keen desire and ability to safeguard our tax money by her detailed review of all country budgets and overseeing their expenditures, as required by law.
During her tenure no department head or others have ever questioned her character or her ability to fairly and effectively carry out her duties until Sheriff Turner was elected.
I would further submit it’s more probable that if there existed any divisive atmosphere between the sheriff and the auditor it was caused by the sheriff. Greg Loney, who dealt with Sheriff Turner on a regular basis as a county commissioner, stated in his July 13 letter: “He was the most divisive elected official I had worked with in my almost eight years in office. It was also my observation that most department heads and other elected officials found him difficult to work with.”
Evidently the auditor upset the sheriff by questioning some of his budgets and expenditures. Compared to the prior sheriff’s these expenditures were substantial. From the 2011 budget to date the sheriff’s budget increased some $550,000, not even including the additional expenditure of some $600,000 he obtained from the General Fund, the Reserve Fund and the Law and Justice Fund.
But as the auditor has found out, if you question him you may be treated like these deputies who supported Bill White or who are now running against him.