Sheriff Hill clarifies Facebook post announcing candidacy

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill is distancing himself from a Facebook post made last Tuesday announcing Hill’s candidacy for sheriff in 2018. The post, which included a campaign logo with Hill’s picture, was made by Hill’s administrative assistant, Kim Pack.

“That Facebook post isn’t coming directly from the sheriff. I haven’t made a decision. It will be me that makes the decision,” Hill said Tuesday. “I don’t know when I will announce. I have a year and a half. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Hill acknowledged that he knew about the creation of the campaign graphic and about T-shirts that have been printed with the campaign graphic on them.

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“If somebody wants to make a shirt, I’m not taking any money,” Hill said, adding that he has no campaign fund set up, nor treasurer.

Enjoying bi-partisan support through the years, Hill said that he has been mulling over whether to run for another term as sheriff but is not in a hurry to make an announcement, as the filing date isn’t until November 2017.

Hill, 47, said that at the end of this term he’ll have served 30 years in law enforcement, adding that he has his health, he’s received job offers in the private sector, and retirement from an office that occupies his time round the clock looks attractive. He also expressed frustration with a judicial system that he says doesn’t hold people accountable for their actions.

But would seeing plans for a new jail and sheriff’s office coming to fruition sway him to make another run, as he has argued the case for years for the county to invest in the project?

“It’s got to be done,” said Hill about the jail. “It doesn’t matter who’s here [as sheriff]. It’s irrelevant whether it’s me,” said Hill, adding that plumbing started leaking into the evidence room Monday and was being fixed during his interview with the Bulletin. “For the officers who have just started, they deserve to be in something decent.”

According to Hill, construction on the new jail is due to start in November 2016 and take 16 months to complete.

Pack on Tuesday said that most sheriff office employees want him to run again. As of press time Tuesday, her Facebook post had not been taken down, and Hill said he has not asked her to take it down.

“When I officially make up my mind, I’ll announce it,” Hill said.