Hennick shooting for sheriff again
While many are eyeing November’s election with school board openings and state initiatives, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Hennick has his focus set for the primary election in June 2006.
Roughly four years ago Hennick ran for the post of sheriff for El Dorado County against Jeff Neves, the undersheriff at the time and eventual winner with 55.8 percent of the vote.
With Neves possibly seeking re-election for a second term and Hennick intending to run, voters could see a repeat of the contentious sheriff’s campaign leading up to the March 5, 2002 election.
Neves did not return a phone call or respond to a page by deadline.
“The overall reason is a lack of leadership at the present and no direction or plan for the future,” Hennick said.
In 2001, Hennick was the first to file candidacy. When then-Sheriff Hal Barker announced he was going to retire instead of running, Neves jumped into the race.
Hennick is hoping the third time will be the charm. Barker was appointed in 1997 as sheriff, beating out Hennick and two other men who tested for the job, when Don McDonald retired early.
“This has been a 10-year quest for me,” Hennick said.
Hennick bought a house in Tahoe in 2002 to underscore his promise that, if elected, he would frequently be at the basin. He sometimes works patrol on the county streets in Tahoe. He still has the house, he said.
Already campaigning, Hennick said Neves has “done everything on autopilot” and cited the loss of personnel in the department and how positions still need to be filled.
Hennick, 52, has been with the department for 31 years starting as a reserve deputy and climbing the ladder to positions such as a paid deputy, a SWAT team member and investigator in the narcotics division. He is a supervisor in the extradition and transportation division, which basically oversees the movement of inmates from jail to jail.
The 2002 campaign evolved into a mudslinging contest with accusations in the Hennick camp that Neves’ staff used illegal tactics, including harassing businesses that posted Hennick posters.
One complaint was filed with the El Dorado Grand Jury which accused Barker of allowing department volunteers to solicit votes for Neves. The complaint didn’t appear on the grand jury’s 2002-03 final report.
It’s been years since he and the sheriff have shared words, Hennick said, noting his allegiance is with the county.
“This county gave me a job and I want to pay that back,” Hennick said.
– E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com
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