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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