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Former Sheriff Jim Adkins and District Attorney Steve Leriche endorse Jason Pollock in the race for sheriff.

COURTESY PHOTO - Candidate Jason Pollock won the endorsement of Retired Sheriff Jim Adkins and Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche in his bid to become the next Jefferson County Sheriff.

Former Sheriff Jim Adkins and District Attorney Steve Leriche endorse Jason Pollock in the race for sheriff.

Retired Sheriff Jim Adkins joined with Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche Wednesday to endorse Senior Deputy Jason Pollock in his challenge to incumbent Sheriff Marc Heckathorn in the race for Jefferson County Sheriff

They released their joint statement at 11:30 on May 4, one week after ballots went out to voters. "Acting Sheriff Heckathorn's prior service to this county is commendable," the statement said, "but his actions as Acting Sheriff and during this campaign have been the opposite." (After the Jefferson County Commissioners' appointment last July, Heckathorn's official title is Sheriff.)

Efforts to reach Adkins for comment outside the joint press release were unsuccessful.

PMG PHOTO: ARCHIVE - Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Lerich joined with retired Sheriff Jim Adkins to endorse Deputy Jason Pollock for Sheriff. Pollock is running against incumbent Sheriff Marc Heckathorn. Leriche said he was particularly disappointed that Heckathorn withdrew the county from the Internet Crimes Against Children system. "Those are things we've been receiving for more than 20 years," said Leriche. "To learn that one of the lead law enforcement agencies is abandoning the role in protecting children."

Leriche says ICAC provides an interface that allows internet providers to notify law enforcement when an IP address is trafficking in child pornography.

Leriche says he learned the county withdrew from the commander in charge of the program for the Department of Justice. Effort to reach Heckathorn for his response to the endorsement of his opponent and concerns about the county withdrawing from ICAC were unsuccessful but are continuing.

PAT KRUIS/MADRAS PIONEER - Last July outgoing Sheriff Jim Adkins pins the badge on newly appointed Sheriff Marc Heckathorn. Today Adkins endorsed challenger Jason Pollock in the race to become county sheriff.  Last summer, as Jim Adkins retired, he heartily recommended Undersheriff Heckathorn for the job, saying, "The only person in my office that is capable to take the sheriff's office to the next level, who knows the office inside and out, is Marc Heckathorn." Adkins apparently has changed his mind. The joint statement said, "Assertions throughout this campaign that anything negative that a citizen mentioned about the Sheriff's Office was the result of prior Sheriffs, while anything positive was a result of his work alone (are) not accurate." The statement points to Heckathorn's filing papers for a "buddy" as a third candidate to create a three-person race thus putting the contest on the May ballot. Heckathorn paid for the filing, and personally turned in candidate paperwork for Rick Dupont to make the contest a three-person race. Heckathorn said he did so in order that the race, if one candidate received over 50% of the vote, could be settled during the primary and not have to wait until November's general election. He said he did so to alleviate the office split the race has caused.

"I don't like politics," said Leriche, "It seemed like a political maneuver, and I want my sheriff not to engage in conduct like that." In their joint statement, Adkins and Leriche said, "Given these serious concerns about Acting Sheriff Heckathorn's communication, integrity, and judgement we cannot support his candidacy." "When it comes down to it," said Leriche in a follow-up call, "I trust Jason Pollock." "I'm honored the District Attorney has supported me through this," said Pollock, "and I hope to enjoy a continued relationship after elected." Adkins and Leriche add, "Pollock will certainly have things to learn on the administrative side, but he is more than capable of doing so. We are confident in his ability to serve the people of Jefferson County and urge you to vote for him."

The joint press release did not address it timeliness, or lack thereof. Ballots have been out for approximately a week and it would stand to reason that many local voters have marked their ballots already, if not turned them in. "I'm not a political enough junky to time and orchestrate things," said Leriche. "We're not on a political schedule or trying to meet anyone's deadline. When we came to the conclusion we wanted Jason is when we released it."

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