By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
It wouldn’t be the first time, but for one longtime county employee who has knowledge of the suspension of three St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Correctional Officers, the idea that a female inmate must subjugate herself to three male jailors in order to survive indicates that the Sheriff’s Department has once again run amuck in the operation of the jail.
St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron has a stock answer when asked any questions about his department and his employees. He always states that he cannot answer any questions regarding personnel or litigation.
A recent Maryland Public Information Request about the overtime paid to all employees of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department revealed that one person under investigation for allegedly stealing overtime has not been paid any overtime during the current fiscal year.
The request to have overtime paid to deputies in the prior fiscal year revealed very little paid to that person, Lt. Julie Yingling. Yingling had been on administrative suspension for several months, meaning that she was on paid vacation and sitting at home until The CHESAPEAKE TODAY reported on the story. After news of the action was reported she was assigned to work at the jail, which is quite a demotion for a detective supervisor.
Sources report that there may be much more to this particular story as well and that the entire affair is part of the massive and complete discrimination against women that has taken place in the male world of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department for decades. Eventually, Yingling was restored to active duty as a deputy, with the rank of Sergeant, which indicates that internal politics and discrimination was once again afoot in the Good Old Boy’s Club of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department.
There are no female commanders of any division of the Sheriff’s Department, the commanders are all old fat white guys.
The single black among senior employees was Brian Eley, who was on the payroll as the top civilian administrator. Eley, retired from the Charles County Sheriff’s Department at the rank of Captain, was regarded as competent and able. Sheriff Cameron wanted and needed a black to offer some tilt to the demographics of the agency and therefore included a county-owned vehicle for Eley to travel back and forth to his home in Virginia with the county picking up the tab for his fuel as well. As Eley is not a police officer, this was an unusual and perhaps illegal arrangement. Eley left the agency to return to Charles County as a senior aide to Sheriff Troy Berry in the role of director of administrative services.
But in an agency where the discrimination against blacks is well documented, indeed a successful federal action was brought by four blacks in 1992 and settled in their favor.
Sheriff Cameron says that blacks and women do not either study for the promotional tests or pass them and he cannot simply advance individuals; therefore the public is expected to believe that all of the fat white guys who have always held the top posts in the agency over the past twenty years have all been promoted due to their qualifications.
With the recent firing of a deputy who had serious medical complications due to a confrontation with a violent offender which resulted in the man being fatally shot by the officer, younger and more recently hired deputies leave the agency for a professional organization elsewhere with five deputies reportedly quitting in the past month.
The treatment of Deputy Michael George, compared to the treatment of Deputy Darryl Greb, who was also injured in a confrontation with a violent offender, was remarkable in the contrast. Greb was given a medical retirement and today works as a civilian in the agency. George was fired by Sheriff Cameron and today wonders how long before his home goes to foreclosure.
With other cases of inmates having sex with correctional officers in the St. Mary’s County jail, employees involved — when news of the incidents erupted into public view — resulted in firings. Of course, when incidents have been successfully hidden from the public, it’s hard to tell what took place.
Various aspects of the operation and management of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department have been questioned by some of those who have read the list of overtime paid to employees.
With nearly $20,000 in overtime paid to the Sheriff’s secretary, double the figure for the fiscal year just two years prior, the suggestion that perhaps some of the work assigned to this person should have been reassigned.
Sheriff Cameron has not offered any explanation for the excessive overtime paid to various individuals, with as much as $41,000 in overtime paid to one detective.
The full list of the salary and overtime paid thus far in the current fiscal year is available online at THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY. This information is for eleven months as the fiscal year ends on June 30th.
A request for the 2013 fiscal year resulted in the Sheriff’s Department and St. Mary’s County Officials providing payroll sheets in written form to the public information request.
Included in the response was the Social Security numbers for each employee of the agency including that of the Sheriff himself. The documents were returned to the Sheriff. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY is awaiting the fiscal year 2013 payroll data which, hopefully, not include the Social Security numbers of the employees.
Sheriff Cameron has very nice blogs and websites under his control where he lists helpful hints about how to avoid being the target of scams and awards given to personnel, but doesn’t include any information as to pay and overtime for his staff or disposition of criminal charges against employees.
Sheriff Cameron has also failed to provide a public explanation of why deputies fired automatic weapons in the direction of the Wildewood community, with hot lead landing in the bedroom of an infant. This incident took place in February. Cameron said at the time he was “mortified” that the gunfire endangered the public. Two captains were suspended, with pay, for two weeks, but once again, there has been no public statement offered as to the incident or the suspensions.