Good ol’ Boys

Update:  Retiring Sheriff Gary Penrod has recommended Assistant Sheriff Rod Hoops fill the remaining two years of his term.

This morning, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors heeded Penrod’s advice and voted to circumvent the interview process for finding an interim replacement for Penrod.

Because the position of county sheriff is an elected office, Penrod’s replacement would be an appointee who would only serve until the 2010 election.

The board plans to vote Jan. 23 on appointing Hoops, a 30-year veteran in charge of operations,  to the position. If the vote goes through, Hoops would be sworn in on Feb. 3.

Normally, the board would collect applications from interested candidates and hold a public hearing to interview them. That process will not be conducted, the supervisors decided Tuesday.

In 1983, when San Bernardino County Sheriff Frank Bland retired, he handpicked Floyd Tidwell to replace him, and Tidwell had many months in office before the next election to make his name known to the public so re-election would not be a problem.

In 1991, Sheriff Tidwell retired – in January – and hand-picked Dick Williams, giving Williams many months in office to make his name known so election would not be a problem.

In January 1995 Sheriff Williams retired, and hand-picked Gary Penrod to replace him. Penrod also had several months in office before the next election to make his name known.

This week, Sheriff Penrod retired, and has apparently hand-picked Assistant Sheriff Rod Hoops as his replacement. Although Undersheriff Richard Beemer will be the interim sheriff, Penrod’s actual replacement will be selected by the county Board of Supervisors, probably within two months. The betting is on Hoops.

What you’re looking at here, of course, is the ultimate good ol’ boy network in full operation. Interlopers – people outside the system who oppose the anointed one to seek the office – have not been successful in San Bernardino County in the last 54 years.

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Hesperia deputies no hablan español

In a city that’s increasingly speaking Spanish, only about five percent of Hesperia’s sheriff’s deputies read and write the language well enough for the department to certify them as bilingual.

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