The following is a
transcript of a conversation represented to The Athens NEWS as having taken place between Sheriff Pat Kelly
and Glouster Police Chief Lucas Mace earlier this month. The original audio has
been reviewed by the Athens County Prosecutor's office. The transcription was
made by an Athens NEWS reporter from an audio CD, and contains a few sections
where the sound was too garbled to make out the words. The transcription
represents our best effort at conveying what was actually said, with all the
challenges inherent in capturing a back-and-forth discussion in which the
voices overlap, sentences are sometimes left unfinished, and so forth. We
believe it is substantively accurate. We have removed the names of people Kelly cites as criminals, and specific identifying information for these people, given that in at least some cases it appears the people named are merely under suspicion or indictment, and have not been convicted. We have also removed names and potential identifiers of alleged crime victims.
Kelly – What's up?
Mace – How we doin'? Have we got issues? Have me and you got issues?
PK – You've got a Kane sign in your yard.
LM – Is that the only issue?
PK – That says it all.
LM – Can that be cleared up?
PK – You put the Kane sign in the yard….
LM – I didn't put the Kane sign in the yard.
PK – Well, your wife did… (unintelligible).
LM – OK.
PK – We have worked our hind end off to make this office what it is. That man offers absolutely nothing but tearing down my kids. That's all he's ever offered. Somebody supports him, if they're that class of people, they have an issue with my whole office.
LM – OK.
PK – If you guys think that he would make a good sheriff, that's a problem. That is a definite problem. There's not one person in this office wants that man in as sheriff. Not one deputy. That's an issue.
LM – Is that our only issue?
PK – Well, come on - you've got a Kane sign!
LM – OK. I mean, can that…
PK – Is that the kind of law enforcement you think we need in this kind of, in this county?
LM – Not sure.
PK – Is that what you would model yourself after?
LM – I'm not sure. I felt that we… Here, I'm in a strange position now. Before, I was just an officer…
PK – Because this position is the chief law-enforcement officer of the county. This is the position where people are supposed to look up to it, and get guidance from. Is that the kind of guy that you think you would want guidance from? Steve Kane?
LM – I just know that every year that there is an election, everything is in turmoil. I try to do my best to stay out of it every year. And if, if, if you recall, you had a sign in my yard last election. And…
PK – And I've proven to this county exactly what this sheriff's office needs to be.
LM – But, I want to work with either one, whoever gets in there. You know, I'm gonna have to work with either one. Period. And I want to be able to do that on a professional level.
PK – Well, we offer our professional services to anybody, regardless. We never turn our back on any agency; absolutely not.
LM – If I was to remove the Kane sign, would we still have issues? I don't talk about politics, I, I don't have time for politics….
PK – It's not about a sign, because…
LM – I know that there was a rumor that I was going around, knocking on doors. I've got three kids, and I work my butt off at work, but…
PK – I don't know about rumors, because I don't listen to rumors; I base everything off facts.
LM – Well, the fact is, I don't campaign for anyone. Just because, all it does is present problems. If I campaign for you…
PK – You say that, yet you have a Kane sign in the yard. Do you see any of my deputies putting up signs?
LM –They're not allowed to put up signs. (Chuckles). Either one, they're probably not allowed to put up signs. But, I still want to have the working relationship with the sheriff's office regardless. I mean, that's just like ah, township building. It's in Trimble Township. They look to us, too, just as well as the sheriff's office, to help with that. I wasn't exactly looking for those whenever I called up to Lancaster, but we found 'em. And, you know, we had the stolen motorcycle, stolen this… But I don't want my officers in my department to feel left out of anything because of a, a Kane sign.
PK – Alls they have to do is take care of the village, er, Village of Glouster. And if we need support, we have a memorandum of understanding. It still stands.
LM – OK.
PK – We need support, we'll call on you, in the same way. Um, it's not about a sign. It's about philosophies, it's about – this isn't just a campaign to me. This is our life. This is what we do, our income and everything. Do you support the other guy? You're not supporting me. So don't expect me to jump over hills and support you when you got a Kane sign in your yard. Certainly we will respond…
LM – So, if I was to remove the Kane sign against whoever's wishes…
PK – No! It's not, as again, it's not about a sign….
LM – So, what, what's done is done….
PK – It's about you supporting him…
LM – So, what's done is done, and there is gonna be no….
PK – We will certainly support you, Luke. and anybody in law enforcement. Never turn our back on 'em. But when you went out to support him – and you can put blame it on your wife, but I'm the man in my house. My wife doesn't put something up if I say, 'Unh uh.' That's not the kind of person I want to support. He's got his signs up in about every drug dealer that we've busted, up through that valley. He's got his signs up in child molesters' yards.
LM –Yeah, that one was kind of funny. (Chuckles).
PK – Is that the kind of person…
LM – No!
PK - … that you associate with? It's not the one I associate with. That man molested eight families, eight children up in there…
LM – But on, on the same token, even if it's drug-dealer's yards or whatnot, how many drug dealers do you know that go vote?
PK – It's, it's every principle that we stand against here, is what he's got backing him. He's got Shannon Sheridan, a fired deputy, sexual harassment. That's, that's what's supporting him. That's the message that you're sending to him. That's not a message that we're sending. We do not send that message. That's not a good one to, to, to share, and say…. Your next-door neighbor is (name excluded).
LM – Mmm-hm.
PK – (Name excluded)'s granddaughter was one of those people molested by (name excluded).
LM – I understand that.
PK – And Kane has a sign in the (family name excluded)'s thing. That's like a slap in the face to a law-abiding person. Could you have… That's why a lot of our guys don't put signs up. They don't get involved in it, to show… You're saying, that you believe Steve Kane would be a better sheriff than me. That's the message you're sending as a chief by putting his sign in.
LM – Well, I wasn't chief whenever the sign was put in.
PK – Well, you were a police officer.
LM – Yeah, I was a police officer. And I still am.
PK – So your philosophy's changed because you became a chief?
LM – No, but I have to look more out for my department than myself.
PK – Well, your department doesn't have a problem.
LM – Just me.
PK – You have a definite problem for me, when you back somebody like that. That tells me a lot about you. I mean, come on. What can I see or… What do you think my administration sits here and says to me, when you have a sign in your front yard for a guy that has everything against, stands for everything we stand against? Drug dealers? (Name excluded)'s yard, he's got a sign in there. You know (name excluded).
LM – No, I don't know (name excluded).
PK – (Name excluded)?
LM – I know (name excluded).
PK – We sent both up for trafficking. Big sign in the front
yard. (Names excluded)?
LM – Yeah, I know them.
PK – Big sign, big sign in the front yard.
LM - (Identifying information), dealt drugs in Trimble.
PK –Did you bust him?
LM – No, we never were able to bust him.
PK – But you knew he was dealing?
LM – Oh, yeah. Yes.
PK – A sign in his front yard. Is that what you support?
LM – No, not exactly.
PK – Well, that's not what we support.
LM – I think you know my stance on drugs. I mean…
PK – That's what we fight against.
LM – But, the only thing that I'm asking for is, I've done everything possible to do my job the best that I can. Any time I've been asked to do anything, I do it without question or reserve.
PK – And you'll have the support.
LM – And I'm asking you to look at that as well. I mean, we're all law enforcement officers, period. No matter who's doing what, we're all the same.
PK – If they're not (unintelligible) law enforcement officers, what kind are they?
LM - So, I'm a crappy law enforcement officer because I have a Kane sign up.
PK – No, it's a philosophy; it's what we stand by. You've got to understand that. We are… He's got signs in the people that we arrest. The (names excluded), right there, 682, or 685 - wanted my sign. They're not getting my sign. Why not? Because they deal out of there. And we will bust him. We're gonna bust him soon. He's got signs in their front yard.
LM – Hope so. I'd rather have new neighbors.
PK – I don't need my signs of somebody that supports drug dealers, child molesters. I don't want any part of that. That's not what we stand for as law enforcement.
LM – Well, I understand that. But in the same token, it's kind of like I must be dealing drugs, or I'm a child molester, because I have a sign in my yard, even though I'm a law enforcement officer that works my ass off.
PK – No, you're supporting …
LM – Doing the same job that you do, on a different level.
PK – You're supporting …
LM – How am I supporting a drug dealer?
PK – You're supporting the candidate that has that philosophy. You have his sign. You are showing your support…
LM – So, in other words, no matter what I do, me and you have issues.
PK – No, I don't hold grudges. I brought those people that were against me in the campaign in.
LM – I know. (Laughs). I know.
PK – I brought 'em up. And you know, you, you… I don't hold grudges. I don't….
LM – Well, tell me how I can make this right, to where we get along again. Because I want to get along. Uh, uh, my whole, my sole purpose, is law enforcement in the village of Glouster, to keep the community safe, and get the drugs off the street, and therefore other stuff will trickle off the street as well, like the thefts and the prostitution that we have going on and stuff like that in Glouster.
PK – That's all you have to, that's all you have to do, is, is take care of that village. We've started a good thing up there, we've taken a lot of drugs off…
LM – Mmm-hm.
PK ---and I have every intention of, of seeing that continue happening. I'll support you.
LM – Now, am I still able to work with Byron? Byron says that he's gonna have that end of the county.
PK – He's got that end of the county?
LM – Yeah, like, within the village. Am I still able to work with him within the village?
PK – Yes. Absolutely. My task force is there to take drugs off of the streets. It's not about people. It's about taking bad guys and arresting bad guys…
LM – OK.
PK - …and getting them off the street.
LM – So, how can I make this right? Or can I even make this right?
PK – There's nothing to make right. You're the chief, and we will support you up there 100 percent You need something, we will be there. Um, personal philosophies don't enter in to my office. And I keep my personality away. Do I appreciate the fact that you put those signs up there?
LM – Probably not.
PK – After the job that we've done here? You look down through it, murders, homicides, banks, bank robberies, armed robberies, drug molesters. We've solved every crime imaginable. We've started every public service, every community service program. We've upgraded technology and stuff.
LM – Mmm hm.
PK – What makes you think he'd be a better sheriff?
LM – I never said… You know, that's why I hate politics.
PK – Well…
LM - I hate politics.
PK – Well, you said it by putting a sign in the front yard.
LM – Well, no, that's not exactly what I said. He wanted to put a sign in. I didn't have a problem with it at the time, wife wanted in, no problem.
PK – Well, why didn't you have it at the time?
LM – Huh?
PK – Why… you said you didn't have any problem with that…
LM – I don't have a problem, except for Romney (laughs). I don't have a problem with anybody putting a sign in my yard. I even told, welcomed your sign in the yard as well.
PK – 'Cause you knew I wouldn't put one there with his.
LM – You told me that.
PK – I would not associate with that man.
LM – But, the thing of it is, I don't see how that should interfere with our relationship.
PK – As a law enforcement …
LM – As a law enforcement officer.
PK – It won't! That's what I'm telling you.
LM – OK.
PK - We will be there 100 percent.
LM – Um, if I still have a commission here, do you want my resignation?
PK – You won't have to have one, because chiefs don't have, have commissions, because you won't need it. We have that thing back and forth. Anybody that has a Kane sign in their yard is not going to have a commission with me. That's sending a mixed message. You're a reserve with the Athens County Sheriff's office, and you're supporting this cand… his opponent?
LM – Because I have a sign in my yard, I'm obviously supporting…
PK – That would be like you're, you're running for chief, and then somebody else puts all their banners up in your yard for the other guy. How would you feel?
LM – I can understand that.
PK – I give people commissions here, as I said, that went against me. Ernie Antle and those people. APD officers. We gave 'em a commission because it was the right thing to do, and I want to see people work together. For four years we've worked together with the Athens Police Department. Now, 30 days before, some of those officers should start shooting off their mouths? Where were they four years ago? When everything was going so good here in the county, and we were knocking down doors and all this stuff, and taking drugs off the street? Where were those people back then? They didn't come out; they didn't say a thing. People have their preferences for politics; I appreciate that. I spent five years in the Marine Corps, and I went back to Iraq in '05 to, to secure that.
LM – I've got seven in the military myself, so I've fought for my rights.
PK – But they don't need to think that I'm going to support 'em individually when they come against me, because I have a family to support. What if we were both running for the chief's spot? And I go spread all kinds of lies and rumors about you to get you out of that spot? And I put my sign in all of the drug dealers and all those people in Glouster? What would you think?
LM – Hopefully the people recognize that.
PK – Oh, I think the people up there recognize it, and people have told me – "I've seen a Kane sign in Luke Mace's yard." And I said, "I didn't know that." "I've seen it." It is what it is.
LM – Yep, it is what it is.
PK – But we will be there for you if you need help, if you need support, whatever, this office will be there for you. I would never turn my back on any agency.
LM – So that if I still have that commission through here, just to be clear, whenever the OPOTA paperwork gets in, if it gets in, I'd rather have it sent in under resignation than termination.
PK – I'm not going to terminate you.
LM – Huh?
PK – I'm not going to terminate you.
LM – Anything that I can do to resolve this? Personally?
PK – I don't think there's anything to resolve. You're supporting Kane? Support Kane. You have every right to do that. That's your option. And that's - there's nothing else I can do about that. If he's the kind of guy that you think should be the sheriff, then you support him all the way. But I can assure you you won't get any support from anybody in this office. Maybe one or two people…
LM – Just so you know, on the law enforcement side, you have 100 percent cooperation from us; always have, always will.
PK – I have no doubts about that. There's… you know, these guys are professionals here. They're not stupid, though. They see things. They see what's going on. And they brought it to my attention. That's how I knew the sign was there. You think they like it? You think anybody here, maybe one or two deputies, might want him? You think anybody wants him here? He's gone out against these guys over and over and over. And he said he would bring Shannon Sheridan back. Now, who in God's name would want Shannon Sheridan back in law enforcement?
LM – Not knowing everything about Shannon Sheridan, but knowing what I know, I know that he tried hard.
PK – Tried hard?
LM – On the stuff that I worked with him on, he did. On the stuff that I personally dealt with him on, I know that he tried to work hard. I don't know what the rest of the 90 percent of his time was doing, (laughs), or 95 percent.
PK – He was (word unclear) to his superiors; he sexually harassed…
LM – I understand; I'm just saying what I've dealt with Shannon on personally…
PK – That is not the kind of…
LM – …but as far as what else went on, I have no idea. I know what he's… and yes, that's very possible or plausible, whatever. But as far as the stuff that I dealt with, he always seemed to have the attitude of wanting to get it solved, and that's what I'm all about is solving the problem.
PK – I'll not deny he solved some crimes. But there's more to being a cop than solving crimes.
LM – Well, I understand that, too.
PK – It's about personality, it's about appearance, it's about people's thoughts about you.
LM – I'm just saying, I never saw it.
PK – You didn't?
LM –I never saw it.
PK – You didn't look very hard. When I fired him, the emails started coming – "thank you." And from law enforcement all over this county, saying "thank you."
LM – He just never presented any problems to me. I try and get along with everybody.
PK – He didn't work up there with you.
LM – Every once in a while.
PK – But he was a, a backdoor kind of guy, that is right where he should be.
LM – Well, I try and keep everybody off my back that I possibly can.
PK – Luke, I won't be on your back. And you call, I'll support you 100 percent. You have a problem, you're welcome to come here any time.
LM – Well actually, uh, that's what I was doing now. I haven't got Roger any more, or anybody else to go to, so you're the man.
PK – You can call any time. You always have, and I've never denied you. Even through the signs thing and all this, the Kane stuff. You're sending a message, and the message isn't to me. The message is to your community. A number of times (name excluded)'s mentioned how much that bothers him. It's a slap in his face to see you put a sign in your yard, being a law enforcement officer, and him having a sign in the yard of a child molester. I mean, you've got to think outside the box, and think of how, how other people, when you're going into a leadership spot, especially the chief, how people…
LM – Well, I just got that on Tuesday.
PK – Hmm?
LM - (Laughs). I just got that on Tuesday.
PK – It's how overall, people look at you. And what is it you stand for? And what do you support? And that message is very clear. And there's no taking down a sign will change that. That's one where I would be talking to (name excluded), and, because he's your next-door neighbor. That guy molested eight children. And he's molested a lot more than that.
LM – Oh, more than likely.
PK – And he's got away – he thinks he got away with it. I want to see him rot in…
LM – He's still in court, isn't he?
PK – Hmm?
LM – It's still in court, isn't it?
PK – December. It'll go. And I want to see him spend the rest of his life in prison for violating those children.
LM – I have to agree.
PK – And he can say what he wants to say. And I know why Kane's with him. It's because he doesn't have anybody else. Who's he got? Who does he have to go to, except for the drug dealers and people like that?
LM – I have no clue.
PK – Because half of the Republican Party is supporting me. I expect this to be a landslide. And people will say, It's not – they don't even know him. It's the job these guys have done here, and what they stand for. I said I'd restore professionalism and integrity to this office, and I think we've done that. People now – and, you watch on Facebook. My God, if I said something about a bust in Glouster, it's hundreds and hundreds of comments, saying 'Thank you. It's time. About time." People there want more (garbled). They're expecting more from their (garbled)."
LM – Right now we're down to two officers, but hopefully next week they make a decision on more. They're in debate whether one full-time or two part-time.
PK – Well, we've got 500 square miles here. My guys get pretty tired.
LM – I understand.
PK - We can't keep taking on…
LM – Trust me, I understand, and I can't keep, (?) and I's paperwork levels are pretty high right now. So we're trying to get somebody in. We've spent more than, more than three quarters of the year this year with one person, or two people.
PK – Did you hear tell, tell you we were in conversations about me taking over Glouster, the office?
LM – No.
PK – I told them we would look at it. There's council members have approached me, people have approached me, and said, 'Would you take over Glouster?' I can't afford to take over Glouster. I can't afford to take over one more village in this county. My guys are…
LM – I understand that. And I might be on my way out as well, because they're wanting to give me another surgery, and that might end up putting me on early retirement anyway. And then all this is for naught.
PK – That doesn't help us with the number of crimes that you guys have there.
LM – Exactly.
PK – Now if the drug dealers would (garb;ed)….
LM – I am. I'm sending 'em right out Oakdale. (Laughs). That's where Mr. (name excluded) went, along with his brother.
PK – You can send 'em up to Morgan County.
LM – I'd rather them go to Morgan County, as long as it's on the other side of it, and not even close to us. Or further up Perry would be even better.
PK – You took another step when you took on that chief's spot.
LM – I understand that.
PK – There's gonna be a lot of heat on you. (Unintelligible) people are gonna be watching you whether you see 'em or not. How you perform will dictate how your office is.
LM – I understand that, too.
PK – Good luck, Luke.
LM – Thank you for your time.