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Voice: Carter still refuses to take responsibility for jail death

March 05, 2002

There are at least 196 reasons why Harold Carter does not deserve to be re-elected sheriff-coroner. On election day I would urge everyone who has been conned into believing Harold Carter is the best candidate for sheriff-coroner to please think again.

Please think back to the murder and melee that occurred at the Imperial County jail on Oct. 22, 2000, when Ramon Eugene Paleo was so brutally murdered. Then right after his murder, another inmate that witnessed the crime was stabbed, strangled, and dragged around the day room and the shower area until he was thought to be dead.

Every inmate deserves a chance to pay for his crime. No inmate deserves to be brutally murdered while in custody and serving a 45-day sentence for a failure to appear.

Then, in order to play down the incident, and their blunder, the Sheriff's Office spokesman told the Imperial Valley Press reporter that Gene had been arrested for attempted murder. They knew better, they just figured the attitude the public would take would not be as sympathetic toward the victim.


But the public needs to know the truth. The fact that he was arrested for a failure to appear was verified by the district attorney for the Press because I called in to complain about the false information reported.

However, that should all have been irrelevant. What was and is still relevant is that whether we like it or not, inmates have a legal right to protection while they are in custody and they were not and are not getting it. That is why Harold Carter does not deserve to be re-elected.

Harold Carter never even had the common decency to address or express any regret to the families of the two victims of the Oct. 22, 2000, incident. His attitude concerning this incident during this campaign has only added insult to injury. He has proven that he is not a person of or for the people.

The victim's parents and family are law-abiding citizens and deserve to be treated as such.

Put yourself in our position before you cast your vote for Harold Carter, because if he is re-elected, you might someday find yourself in our situation. The sad truth is he still refuses to take responsibility for his failure to insure that policies and procedures are followed.

An example of his refusal to accept responsibility is the statement he made to the audience at the candidate's forum at Imperial Valley College. Carter's statement was intended to mislead the public into believing that Ernie Mendoza was in charge of the jail at the time of the murder. If Harold Carter wanted the position when he ran for office, he should have been willing to accept all the responsibilities of the position.

As the spokesperson for Gene Paleo's family and friends, may I say that we would appreciate your vote for Ernie Mendoza. We do not want any more victims due to Harold Carter's failure to properly carry out his responsibilities as sheriff-coroner.



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