Our opinion: Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone has some explaining to do, and residents should demand his resignation if he doesn’t provide answers.
A website called FITSNEWS reported recently that Sheriff Boone spent part of last year in a North Carolina rehabilitation clinic receiving treatment for an addiction to alcohol.
As you probably know, Boone was elected to his fourth term as sheriff in 2016. That election took place amid a flood of personal drama for the veteran lawman, the website reported.
During his rehab, Boone was on a paid leave of absence for “health reasons,” but FITSNEWS confirmed details of his alcohol treatment with two of his subordinates as well as sources close to his family.
I have clashed with the sheriff’s office before over their secretive nature. There is a reason they have a lawyer (Michael Nunn) as their public information person. He knows how little information they have to release under the law.
It’s a disgrace that reporters have to use the law to drag information out of police about a criminal case.
The sheriff’s top-secret alcohol problem is another example of this need for the sheriff’s office to cover up what they are doing.
When you don’t level with the public, gossip starts to spread. And that’s what happened in Sheriff Boone’s case.
And so instead of being open about his personal alcohol addiction, the sheriff’s office issued a press release saying Sheriff Boone had “health issues and is receiving medical treatment.”
“Presently, he is in physical therapy and making consistent progress,” the release said.
Why not use his alcoholism as a platform to educate the public? Be open about it.
I mean, this is an elected representative who serves the people.
But the agency’s reaction to the news seemed to only support my theory that the top brass likes to hide from the public and only talk about the good things they have done.
Like when a deputy was charged with having inappropriate relations with a student at a high school where he worked, the sheriff’s office declined to even release the name of school where it happened!
The public has a right to a transparent law enforcement agency and a right to know that their sheriff’s inability to do the job isn’t impacting their safety and security. Stop hiding and speak up, Sheriff Boone!