Hitchcock responds to Danker’s claims of “Baseless allegations”
May 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
A candidate for Sheriff in Pottawattamie County has issued a press release responding to Sheriff Jeff Jeff Danker’s claims his opponent made “Baseless allegations” against him.
Republican John Hitchcock says he took it upon himself to look into several complaints that he thought required additional information and scrutiny. Hitchcock says after announcing his political campaign to run for Sheriff of Pottawattamie County, members of the public began to bring numerous complaints to his attention regarding incumbent Sheriff Danker’s Office.
Hitchcock, who’s from Council Bluffs, is a Senior Trooper with the Iowa State Patrol. He says after reviewing the complaints on his off-duty time, making and paying for open records request under the open records laws under the Code of Iowa, many of the complaints were discarded or found to have no factual basis. But some of the complaints, in his opinion, required additional scrutiny.
He says since it would be a huge conflict of interest for him to conduct an investigation against Danker, a law enforcement officer, he made the decision to turn the information over to a non-biased third party. He says on his personnel time, he made “The ethical and moral choice,” and turned the information over to his direct supervisor, with the understanding the Iowa State Patrol turned over the information for review to the Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber. Wilber claimed a conflict of interest and turned it over to Dallas County Attorney Wayne Reisetter for review.
Hitchcock says Reisetter did not contact him regarding any of the information that was released Thursday, for review, prior to issuing his opinion. He says it appears Reistter’s opinion was reached only by using the information provided by Hitchcock, and to his knowledge, no further investigation was conducted Reisetter. In his press release, Hitchcock said Danker released only “Small portions” of Reisetter’s letter, and he scolded the media for not requesting “All documents related to this information, instead of sound bites chosen by the Jeff Danker campaign during this primary election.” He suggested the citizens of Pottawattamie County request a copy of the letter and review it themselves.
He also blamed Danker for the situation, claiming he “Has not released a platform as to his plans for the next four years,” and instead chose to create a press release about Hitchcock’s allegations. Hitchcock said it was Danker’s campaign that “Has chosen to expose the questionable activities by his administration,” and questions if the long-time Sheriff has any plans for the next four-years, “Or is he only relying on his name to get him elected?”