?With his Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for eight years worth of records from the Pleasantville Police Department, County Sheriff Jim McGettigan has shown he intends to wallow in the mud again this year in his campaign,? Republican candidate for Sheriff Capt. Frank Balles said today.

?If McGettigan spent as much time and energy on fulfilling his duties as Sheriff rather than forcing taxpayers to pay for the costs of his political fishing expeditions, Atlantic County might have supplemental patrols to assist municipal departments, or a K-9 unit to help in the fight against illegal narcotics,? Balles said. ?If he directed his attention toward his sworn responsibilities rather than trying to gain political advantage at taxpayers? expense, the office would be able to serve the 6,600 outstanding warrants on felons to get them off the streets of our communities, and LoJack tracking devices would have been installed in department cars 15 years ago when municipal police departments did.?

?His OPRA request for eight years worth of departmental records is consistent with his campaign for county executive last year when he filed one request after another for county records in a thoroughly negative, mudslinging campaign to conceal his failed record,? Balles said.

?McGettigan?s tenure as Sheriff has been one of unfilled and broken promises and a total disregard for fiscal responsibility and restraint,? said Balles, a 23-year veteran of the Pleasantville

Balles? career spans service as a street patrol officer and a steady rise through the ranks to assume administrative, management and command positions, including serving as Acting Chief of the department when necessary.

He has pledged to move decisively to redeploy Sheriff?s office personnel to reinstate supplemental patrol duties and to use money seized from drug dealers along with a reallocation of existing resources to support creation of a K-9 unit in the department.

?McGettigan wants the taxpayers of Pleasantville to pay the cost of his political fishing expedition, an expense which could turn out to be considerable,? Balles said.

The Republican charged that McGettigan?s records request ?was a transparent attempt to allege a violation of the Federal Hatch Act which prohibits political activity by public employees involved in handling federal funds.?

?Three years ago, McGettigan — faced with opposition from a member of his Department — transferred the individual, without cause, to a position which administered Federal money in an effort to force him out of the campaign,? Balles said. ?He?s no stranger to this kind of underhanded activity. McGettigan doesn?t need a road map to find the gutter — he?s spent the better part of his political career there.?


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