Sheriff takes oath of office for 2nd term

Published 6:29 am Saturday, June 25, 2016

Special to The Daily News

Twenty-second Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery recently administered the oath of office to Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal, who will officially begin his second term in office on Friday, July 1.

Seal then administered the oath of office to his administrative staff consisting of Chief Criminal Deputy Mike Haley, Chief Civil Deputy Anthony Stubbs, Deputy Chief Shannon Lyons and Chief of Corrections Jim Miller.

After the ceremony, Sheriff Seal made the following comments:

“I extend my personal thanks to District Attorney Warren Montgomery for administering my oath of office. It was an honor to be sworn in by him and I am so pleased to have a positive working relationship with our District Attorney’s Office.

“When I began my first term in 2012, I pledged to the citizens of Washington Parish that I would enforce the law in a fair and impartial manner and work hard to identify and arrest drug dealers and other criminals who commit crimes in our parish. I have done that and will continue to do so throughout my second term in office.

“Integrity, Honor and Service are three words emblazoned on the side of our patrol units. Those three words define my philosophy in operating the Sheriff’s Office and I pledge that those principles will continue to define who we are and what we do. I want our staff to always do the right thing at the right time and for the right reason.

“The first thing facing us in 2012 was the task of rescuing the Sheriff’s Office from inherited financial practices which could have destroyed the Office if we had not corrected them. It took almost three years to reconstruct financial records from the past four years and get the Office on the right financial track. We had to borrow lots of money the first week I took office just to make payroll and pay outstanding bills. We are now in the position of being able to pay off that loan by the end of my second term.

“Drugs have been a plague on our parish for many years and we have gone after drug dealers, put many of them in jail and seized many of their ill-gained assets. For example, in just the last six months our Drug Task Force has arrested 50 drug dealers and seized $32,000 cash, 16 guns and two vehicles. All property seized was being used in the sale of illegal drugs. We will continue to focus on identifying and arresting drug dealers in an effort to put them out of business and into jail.

“We have also made a concerted effort to put thieves in jail. Most thefts are an indirect result of the drug trade. Our detective division has worked hard to solve thefts in the parish and has put many thieves in jail during the past four years. The same is true with domestic violence and sexual offenses. Such cases always get priority status and many arrests have resulted.

“Our patrol division responds to numerous calls for service each day and has done a great job in enforcing our traffic laws. These fine deputies are usually the first officers at any scene.

“When I took office four years ago, I inherited a totally dysfunctional and unconstitutional jail. Our professional jail staff has turned the jail around and it is now operated according to the law.

“Upon taking office in 2012, I also pledged to focus on fair and impartial tax collection. Our tax office has done that, as evidenced by the recent arrest of a parish business owner who failed to remit hundreds of thousands of dollars in collected sales tax money.

“I could go on and on about the Integrity, Honor and Service which characterizes each division of the Sheriff’s Office, but I will summarize with one statement all of the good things we have been able to accomplish. All of this has occurred thanks to a professional and dedicated staff who works hard to effectively serve the citizens of Washington Parish.

“Last, but not least, let me comment on the fine administrative staff that assists me in operating the office on a day-to-day basis. Chief Criminal Deputy Mike Haley, Chief Civil Deputy Anthony Stubbs, Deputy Chief Shannon Lyons and Chief of Corrections Jim Miller are outstanding professionals who effectively manage their respective divisions. They are my ‘right hands’ and I am honored to have them work alongside me and our other fine employees.

“Christina Branch has served me well as my Administrative Assistant and has resigned to work in the family dairy business. I am fortunate to have Brent Jones to take over those duties beginning with my second term in office. In addition to serving as administrative assistant, Brent will continue to manage our grants program and policy development.”