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Sheriff’s candidates share reactions to Marshall’s arrest

Some were disappointed. Others wondered if their opponent shouldn’t just quit the race for sheriff altogether.

That was the range of reactions collected from some of Asst. Sheriff Rick Marshall’s opponents in the race to replace Sheriff Tony DeMeo in November.

Although they said they didn’t agree with Marshall’s removal of negative campaign signs asking people to vote for anyone but him, at least two candidates said they also would have handled Marshall and longtime volunteer Ben Gulley’s arrests last week differently.

“It didn’t surprise me. Based upon the way the sheriff’s office makes arrests in the normal course, I thought (the arrest) was absolutely normal. I do some criminal defense investigative work in the system and I’ve seen criminal clients get arrested for the same if not less,” sheriff’s candidate Mark Zane said.

“I think it speaks volumes to the actual operation of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office when this type of occurrence happens the way that it did.”

Fellow sheriff’s candidate Galen Morgan said he was disappointed in Marshall’s behavior vis a vis the signs.

He also said, however, that he thought if both deputies and Marshall would have approached one another with a little more respect, it could have kept the situation from rising to the level it did.

“I was a little disappointed in what occurred. We’re all candidates and we know stuff is going to happen because not everybody likes everybody and you have to be able to expect that and have a pretty rough skin. I think what Rick did was not real professional. I understand he was probably upset about the signs, but that’s just part of running for office. I think he could have handled it a lot better. If it were a personal attack on me, I would have just let it go. I’m running as a constitutional sheriff and that’s the person’s constitutional right, that’s freedom of speech,” he said.

Sheriff’s candidate and former NCSO Capt. Bill Becht said if the allegations against Marshall are true, he doesn’t believe the assistant sheriff should be employed in law enforcement any longer, let alone placed in charge of the department.

Becht said that his biggest concern in all of this is the allegation that Marshall resisted arrest.

“If it is all true, then he shouldn’t be in law enforcement and he certainly shouldn’t be leading the agency if he chose to resist,” Becht said. “Choosing to fight with the people you’re supposed to lead is not an appropriate thing to do. That would be like saying one of my guys tries to pull me over and I don’t like it and I don’t believe he should so I cause a pursuit. Pretty much the same equation, a little bit different facts. Either way you just take it and then you get your day in court, that’s how the system is supposed to work … There are no special favors for cops.”

Ray “The Flagman” Mielzynski said while he didn’t wish to comment on the allegations concerning Marshall’s arrest at this time, he wanted people to know that Gulley is an upstanding person who has been dedicated to serving his community as a volunteer with the sheriff’s office for a number of years.

“He doesn’t deserve what he’s going through,” Mielzynski said.

Becht, Zane and Morgan said that last week’s incident will have no effect on how they continue with their campaigns.

“I’m certain this will affect the way people look at Rick’s campaign, but it certainly doesn’t change what my platform is or what my beliefs are,” Becht said.

Morgan echoed those sentiments.

“This won’t change my candidacy because I believe in what I believe in and I have my ethics and my principles and that’s what I speak about and what I believe in. So I’m not going to go and change what I believe in because of what happened to someone else. I’m not a vindictive person and I don’t believe in trying to trash somebody else’s reputation,” Morgan added.