Grayson Co. Sheriff's candidates take on runoff debate

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX-The candidates for Grayson County Sheriff took the stage for a debate Thursday night to answer your questions with just over a month left til the runoff election.
The candidates hit on topics ranging from their health to their careers and plans for the county. Many of those questions were submitted by audience members before the debate.
Grayson County Sheriff's candidates, incumbent J. Keith Gary and Commissioner Johnny Waldrip, answered over a dozen questions Thursday night at Grayson College. The debate got heated when they were asked questions about an incident several months ago, when a Grayson County Sheriff's Deputy was caught with about 200 weapons from the evidence locker.

"It's a very serious issue. We've had 200 guns that we know of, we're not sure if there's more that were taken from the most secure room in the Sheriff's office over a period of time. They were all asleep at the wheel. The question is, how does that happen?" Said Waldrip.

"I'm not happy that it happened, but you know, things do happen. I mean, there are thefts and crimes committed all the time by people you wouldn't expect," said Gary.

He said the incident is still under investigation and that he assured the audience it won't happen again.

"We've taken some steps, we now have rearranged the locks on the doors. You can't possibly can't get in by yourself, there has to be two individuals going into the evidence room at all times now," Gary said.

Several questions were also asked about both candidates' health.

"I am doing fine. The doctor told me and he said 'look, you have a complete clean bill of health from me. Go back and do what you want to do.' And what I wanted to do is to be sheriff of the county," said Gary.

"You know, I'm 60 years old and he's getting close to 80 years old and it becomes and issue. People say how old, how are you and so forth. I had a pacemaker put in and probably 3-4 people in the room have pacemakers," said Waldrip.

Voters also asked what Sheriff Gary's staff could expect if Waldrip takes office.

"The old scare tactics that they put out that everyone's gonna get fired, it doesn't happen. In 1997, when Keith Gary got elected sheriff, he replaced 6 people and I anticipate probably when I go into office, it will probably be close to the same amount," said Waldrip.

Grayson County Precinct 3 Commissioner, Jackie Crisp and his opponent, Phyllis James took the podium after the sheriff's debate.

The runoff election is July 31st.

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  • by NO GARY 2 Location: Sherman on Jul 19, 2012 at 07:39 AM
    Anyone who says Waldrip is a bully has never worked for him. Does he require the top ethical and professional stands, yes. Requires that everyone be the best they can be. And they people working for him walk away with a feeling of self-worth. That is the best type of boss there is. I have never heard him say he was 60, but that he was in his 60's and 64 is in the 60's. I know the Sheriff's office would be blessed to have Waldrip and I will truly miss working for him. Plus what is "Part of 74%" against Waldrip. First of all, other candidates run against the current sheriff. People vote for either the current sheriff or someone else. Are you really that stupid? But if you want to be stupid, Gary got 36%, Hawley 23%, and Adams 11%. Last time I added that come to 70%. I guess you really are that stupid. WOW
    • reply
      by You are Stupid on Jul 20, 2012 at 02:10 PM in reply to NO GARY 2
      I have worked for him! You must be stupid thinking waldrip is not a bully! waldrip is a self centered arrogant horses rear!!
  • by NO GARY! Location: Texoma on Jul 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
    VOTE WALDRIP! No more Tommy Rains running the Sheriff's Office!!!!!
  • by Number 3 of the 6 on Jul 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM
    Waldrip is a BULLY!
  • by Waldrip hater on Jul 10, 2012 at 01:56 PM
    Ask Stan Guffy what kind of person Waldrip is!
  • by James Location: South County on Jul 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    Johnny Wasdrip clearly said in the recent debate that he is 60 years old. His date of birth makes him 64 years. Might not seem important except that if he lies about his age what will he do if he gets to be sheriff. By the way I am told Sheriff Gary was 77 last month.
  • by Watching on Jul 1, 2012 at 03:30 PM
    Interesting comments. Even with those on both sides, interesting that many find Waldrip is a hot tempered bully. The real question - How will he handle all the power in the County as the Sheriff? On the Commissioner's Court, he was bridled by the fact there were others who got a vote and a say. If elected, he will answer to no one. He can pretty much arrest, investigate and bully anyone he wants, without any oversight.
  • by Part of the 74% on Jun 28, 2012 at 08:01 AM
    The 74% that voted AGAINST Waldrip!
    • reply
      by John Q on Jun 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM in reply to Part of the 74%
      Since when did 74% vote against Waldrip? If that were the case there would not be a run off election. Those that voted for Adams and Hawley also voted AGAINST Gary as well as Waldrip. As a Gary supporter I suppose you have to put out so.e kind of lie to get your candidate elected. I just hope the rest of us voters get out and vote for Waldrip.
    • reply
      by John Q on Jul 1, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to Part of the 74%
      Check your facts. 74% did not vote against Waldrip. Gary got 36% of the primary vote, Waldrip got 30%, Hawley 23% and Adams 11%. So 64% of the voters voted AGAINST your candidate, Keith Gary. Seems like the majority want change in the Sheriff's Office to me. I urge all the voters in Grayson County to vote on July 31st and again voice your displeasure with the way the Sheriff's Office is being run. Vote for Johnny Waldrip.
      • reply
        by No Waldrip! on Jul 10, 2012 at 01:51 PM in reply to John Q
        Waldrip still received less votes!!! He is a bully and self-centered person!! Vote GARY!!!
  • by one question on Jun 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM
    Does anyone know how many employees were involved in the gun theft and what punishment each of them received? if so why were some filed on criminally and some not?
    • reply
      by Answer on Jul 2, 2012 at 09:04 PM in reply to one question
      Depends on what you mean by "involvement." No additional employees participated in the thefts, but a couple failed to report suspicious activity and have subsequently been fired. They'll likely never work in law enforcement again. As for the one charged criminally, his case is going through the normal legal process and will likely be heard by a jury later this year in what's called an "open" plea. The defendant pleads guilty after the jury is seated. The State puts on the facts of the case and any other evidence of prior bad acts while the defense puts on evidence favorable to the defendant (which in this case would be evidence calculated to sway the jury into giving the defendant probation). The jury of 12 fair minded Grayson County citizens then decides his fate.
      • reply
        by one question on Jul 11, 2012 at 09:17 PM in reply to Answer
        I happen to know the facts I was just wondering if anyone else really did and by what you type it is obvious of your position, but what you reply is incorrect there were two which took weapons and one knew of the actions. why have we not heard about the second employee and why are charges not being filed?
      • reply
        by fact on Jul 12, 2012 at 08:16 AM in reply to Answer
        this response is not correct would you share the whole story.
  • by Also one of the 64% on Jun 27, 2012 at 09:16 AM
    Ok people, wake up! Did anyone ever stop to think where the deputy who stole those guns got the "restitution" money? Second thing...why did Joe Brown's office reimburse the money through the Hot Check Fund account? Third thing...why did only Grayson County pawn shops get money? And last thing...why is restitution being made before a case is finalized? Makes me wonder if Gary and the DA office aren't in this cover up together.
    • reply
      by J on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM in reply to Also one of the 64%
      Welcome to Grayson County! You must be new to this area.
    • reply
      by You Got Questions, Don't Want the Answers on Jul 2, 2012 at 08:51 PM in reply to Also one of the 64%
      You ask questions, don't answer them, and then assume there's a cover up. Yes, not only did someone think about where the restitution money was coming from, they actually asked and found out! Incredible! Wow! And moreover, the source was independently verified! Amazing! Why the Hot Check Fund, you ask? Because its the only account/mechanism the DA's office has set up to pay pre-trial restitution!! This is because 99% of the time restitution gets enforced by the courts via conditions of probation and therefore it gets paid through the Grayson County Adult Supervisions office (a wholly seperate entity from the DA's office). Don't know if only Grayson pawn shops got money, but assuming its true, its likely because Oklahoma pawn shops wouldn't cooperate (they never have in the past). Finally, pre-trial restitution rarely occurs because it is an admission of guilt. Here, the guilty party confessed when he got caught and began making restitution before even being convicted. Why? He's angling for probation and can now argue to a judge or jury that he has taken full responsibility for his crime and his steps to repay the money show his eagerness to set things right. This is a powerful argument which I have seen sway juries many times. If you think the DA will be offering him probation though, you're crazy. A Grayson County jury or elected district judge will decide his sentence in the full view of the public.
  • by Harvey Location: Howe on Jun 26, 2012 at 08:46 PM
    Bring back Jack Driscoll.
    • reply
      by Really on Jun 28, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to Harvey
      Really Harvey? Are you Kidding?!
      • reply
        by Harvey on Jul 3, 2012 at 01:18 AM in reply to Really
        Got you thnking, didn't I --------It could get worse.
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