Greetings my fellow Bossier Parish Citizens,
My name is Mike McConnell and I am running for Sheriff of Bossier Parish. I have over 20 years of Law Enforcement experience which includes patrol, two different Street Crimes Units and six years working as a Robbery/Homicide Detective.
I resigned from the Shreveport Police Department to pursue employment with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office where I patrolled the Benton, Haughton and Plain Dealing areas of the Parish. During this time, I began teaching Criminal Justice at Remington College in the mornings on my off time.
What makes me qualified to run for Sheriff of Bossier Parish is that I have the knowledge and the experience, dealing with crime and criminals, to lead this parish in the 21st century. I have what it takes to protect our city, towns and parish for all who live, shop, eat and visit here.
During my employment with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, I observed things that were dishonest and illegal. One of the things that I did not agree with then, nor do I now, is the treatment of the Sheriff’s employees. Sheriff Deen has said that his employees are salaried and that is why he does not pay overtime. This statement is absolutely false. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Department of Labor (DOL), the law states, “Exemptions do not apply to police officers (sheriff’s deputies), firefighters, paramedics, and other public safety personnel (so-called “First Responders”).
In other words, “Exemptions” means that they are exempt from being salary employees due to the high propensity to work overtime.
“Those earning at least $100,000.00 a year will be exempt from overtime pay if they “customarily and regularly” perform at least one of the duties of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.”
Sheriff Larry Deen’s staff that makes over $100,000.00 is not exempt and is not eligible for overtime pay, thus they are salary. The only reason he has not been sued for overtime pay is because he is an “at will” employer, which means, Sheriff Deen can terminate an employee without reason.
Larry Deen is breaking the law and if you break the law, you cannot enforce the law!
Sheriff Deen robs his “low on the totem pole” employees and lavishes his upper management staff with extravagant and lavished salaries to the expense of the taxpaying citizens of this parish.
In the January 14-20, 2011 “Inquisitor”, it shows the top 200 salaries for the Bossier Sheriff’s office. On the first page of the salaries, the seventh line from the top, reads:
“N. Gregorczyk - Lt. Colonel - $114,834.15”
This shows the depth of the untruthfulness and deceit that runs through the veins of the Bossier Sheriff’s office with Sheriff Larry Deen in command. “Lt. Colonel N. Gregorczyk” is “Nita Gregorczyk” who is Sheriff Deen’s “personal secretary.” Sheriff Deen has disguised her true position in the department, from taxpayers, by giving her rank status. I know Mrs. Nita personally and know that she is a very kind and sweet woman and it is unfortunate that she is caught in the middle of this situation.
These are hard times and the citizens of this parish are struggling to keep their families fed due to unemployment, inflation and now even higher prices at the gas pumps. Sheriff Deen had the opportunity to ease some of the burden from the citizens of this parish by reducing property taxes and he did not. Sheriff Deen decided once again to be deceitful by attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the citizens of this parish. By law, Sheriff Deen had to hold a public meeting for citizens to address the tax. He decided to stack the deck in his favor by holding the meeting in a small office instead of a venue that could hold a large crowd. He also stacked the deck by only allowing 15 minutes of citizen response, citing that a non-existent Louisiana Statute limited the duration, most of which was allotted to his cronies.
The operating budget for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office more than doubled itself in six years from $15 million in 2004 to over $35 million in 2009. As sheriff, my commitment to the citizens of Bossier Parish is to reduce the wasteful spending of the sheriff’s office and make all transactions transparent for all to see. Under my leadership, this sheriff’s office will once again be accountable to the people it serves.
This is my pledge.
To all the hard working citizens of Bossier Parish, stay Safe.