From the Pan to the Fire

Surrounded by friends and family, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi (pictured) threw his hat into the ring this week as a candidate to replace his boss, Sheriff Jim Anderson. During the Monday morning press event at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, Arnoldi, 55, alluded to a recent rash of scandal surrounding the Sheriff’s office and pledged to restore “leadership and integrity” to the position and “trust and respect” to the department. The 32-year veteran of local law enforcement then swung harder at his boss, adding that an Arnoldi win this June would bring an end to “a decade of having an absentee sheriff.” Arnoldi — who received about 10 percent of the vote when he ran for sheriff in 2001 — outlined a platform that aims to address staffing shortfalls, better manage the limited resources of the department, and seek alternative methods for dealing with people in local jails with drug and mental health problems. Arnoldi also pledged to install closed-circuit television in the jails to minimize criminal transport to and from the courts. And, although he assured the audience that “the only social interest that will have my ear is the residents of Santa Barbara County,” Arnoldi expressed a desire to restore the controversial fundraising juggernaut Sheriff’s Council. Butch joins Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown and former sheriff Jim Thomas in the race, with the incumbent Anderson slated to make his campaign official at a press conference this Thursday afternoon at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. The candidates will face off in a primary election in early June; if any candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, he will become the next sheriff. If that doesn’t happen, the two hopefuls who receive the most votes will have a runoff in November.

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