Editors Note: This opinion column is meant to be light and humorous and should not be taken as an actual news story but rather for entertainment purposes. All emails are genuine and not embellished or altered in any way.
It is no secret that the last two years I have used the Open Records Act to request many emails from both elected officials and government employees. What I have found is often shocking. Other times it is downright hilarious.
I believe our beloved Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s emails can provide insight into how he manages his staff and spends his days. Initially I started looking into Roundtree’s emails to see what rationale he had for the decision to stop answering alarm calls. The shocking result led me to dig more into his emails. Below is what I believe to be the funniest email I have ever seen an elected person send even though I know Roundtree and his staff do not think it’s a laughing matter.
From: Richard Roundtree
To: RCSO Personnel
Good Morning All:
It had been brought to my attention that personal food items stored in the common area refrigerators were being consumed by individuals who were not the owners of the items. Therefore, yesterday, I had a cheese and fruit tray placed into the upstairs breakroom refrigerator yesterday at 5:00pm, CLEARLY marked “SHERIFF ROUNDTREE”. Upon retrieval this morning, the tray had been Decimated!
While we often place items in common areas for public consumption, I consider it a violation of one’s personal space when someone takes items that have been clearly marked for personal use.
This will cease Immediately! Or the next communication will not be as pleasant as this one.
That is all
We can all laugh at the silliness of the email as well as the bad grammar but make no mistake: the sheriff was angry over this issue and takes his food very seriously.
After requesting a wide date range of emails related to the alarms, it became very clear that the sheriff had consulted with virtually no one via emails to anyone on the decision to start responding to alarms. I found that alarming. Any reasonable person would deduce that Chief Clayton made the decision unilaterally as he was the face of the decision and sent tons of emails out on the issue. The sheriff was silent.
After that wide search came up empty, I decided to see if the sheriff even uses email. A request of two random days in September showed that the sheriff sent only 12 emails. One of those emails was about a Roundtree buying back time, 1 was a request he punted to the chief, 1 was an officer wanting Roundtree to mentor him and the rest were about food. Below are a few of those emails:
Thinking it was an anomaly I requested another random two days the following month. The results were very similar. Only this time Rountree only sent 8 emails over 2 days. Half of those 8 emails were the same email with the text “GOT HIM!”. below is the attachment on the email which is clearly geared towards Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams and the investigation into his use off taxpayer funds.
A wider search of emails revealed no further emails were sent to the officer who requested Roundtree’s help with mentorship.
Rountree’s Happy New Years email to all staff was anything but happy. (spelling and grammar corrections have not been made)
From: Richard Roundtree
Good Morning ALL:
Some animal lover has taken it upon themselves to simi-adopt a stray cat who hangs out at our rear entrance. They have done so by purchasing and leaving cat food near the door in the evening hours. This invites other unwelcomed visitors onto our property. This process will stop IMMEDIATELY!! If you want the cat, TAKE IT HOME!
And Happy New Year!
Below are 10 things I believe can be learned about our sheriff from his emails.
- He doesn’t like cats
- He likes cheese
- He knows how to send emails
- He doesn’t like to send emails on issues of importance such as the decision to stop answering alarm calls
- His spelling and grammar are atrocious
- He likes exclamation points
- He doesn’t like Sheriff Alfonzo Williams
- He likes to delegate to the chief unless its food related
- He doesn’t like email dings interrupting his Netflix movies on his computer
- He isn’t interested in mentoring younger officers
In the sheriff’s own words. “That is all.”
Joe Edge is the publisher of The Augusta Press. Reach him at email@example.com
When are the ARC voters finally going to get fresh blood in for Sheriff?
I can think of a great replacement: Ramone Lamkin
I do believe he’s not trying to “step on toes,” but the people of ARC need decisive leadership in the Sheriff’s office if they want to see meaningful change come about with the county’s crime problem.
He makes just as much money without the headaches that go with the Sheriff’s job. Why would he leave his post to subject himself to this and have to clean up the mess that has been the last 11 years at RCSO? The only benefit is the State’s Sheriff’s retirement. I don’t blame him for not running.
It would be interesting to know who had the power to stop all investigations of the Burke County Sheriff in their tracks, to include the county, WRDW, The Augusta Press and others.
Well, you have to admit that Roundtree did learn something from his past email misadventure with Grateful Mother, but it was hard to resist gloating about a fellow sheriff’s legal problems. Our continued crime wave and shortage of hardworking deputies will continue unabated under his watch. The recent perp walks of RCSO jailers and deputies is telling.
Well, I gotta agree with the Sheriff on one thing…People shouldn’t mess with other people’s labeled lunches. That’s just inconsiderate.
If this wasn’t sad, it would be funny!
I have a few stories about Roundtree from my days working under him at the BOE. Augusta Press didn’t exist back then. Like the email, I sent to him directly asking about overtime or holiday pay for forcing 8 of us at the BOE to attend training on the 4th of July in 2010. He replied to it by sending it to everyone in the department and berating me for asking such a thing. Bear in mind we were on 11-month contracts and this 2-week training was during our non-contracted month. That harassment started a back-and-forth that led to my dismissal in October. (He found a way to “get me” too). Let’s not mention the 5 juveniles he let off from burglary charges at the old Murphey Middle school over a long break in 2010. He let them go without charges of they “made restitution” for the vending items they stole from a vending machine inside the school when the school was locked… I’m over being upset about how he treated me and my fellow officers. It’s comical to see it on a larger scale. Just like at the BOE, Clayton runs the ship, and Roundtree takes the credits.
That reminds me of the movie “The Caine Mutiny” when Humphrey Bogart accused a sailor of stealing strawberries (I think)! Which eventually led to a mutiny on his ship. I hope Roundtree won’t have a mutiny on his hands.
I met him one time at Bed Bath and Beyond. That is all.
Maybe he makes a lot of phone calls? I wouldn’t want my emails read. I do proofread a hundred times trying to catch all grammatical errors. The end.
Evidently being the current Sheriff in Richmond county requires just taking photos and eating lunch. Hopefully one day we get one that will actually be a sheriff and a leader.