Deputy fired

Ottawa County Sheriff's Department mum on reason
Becky Vargo
May 19, 2012


missed from his job last week and officials are not saying why.

The employee also was not identified.

Undersheriff Greg Steigenga confirmed the deputy had been fired, but said “it’s an internal matter that doesn’t involve any criminal activity on the part of the employee.”

He emphasized that the deputy’s dismissal was not a safety issue for the public.

This dismissal comes just months after a sergeant was fired from his job.

At that time, officials said there were complaints against the sergeant “for inappropriate comments and related behavior during the supervisor’s interaction with subordinates.”

Steigenga would not say whether or not the two situations are related.

“I’m not going to equate it to any other situation,” he said.

Steigenga said non-criminal reasons for dismissing any employee are wide-ranging.

“It depends on a lot of things,” he said. “Obviously we have policies and procedures. We have an internal discipline process we engage in routinely.”

The Sheriff’s Department consists of about 230 employees, with about 100 of them being uniformed officers.

The undersheriff said officials would look at the county’s staffing needs before determining whether or not the deputy will be replaced.

The Grand Haven Tribune has filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking to see any records related to release from employment of an Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputy in May.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



This should not be such a big deal. Look how things are done in southern states. Kentucky, Tennesse, Bama, Georgia, Ole Miss, A new sheriff gets elected - the whole department gets fired and the new Sheriff brings in new deputies. With that statistic then Sheriff Rosema has over 120 more deputies to fire. He has over 80 reserves, 60 full timers and has been in office now 20 years or so. He hasn't even fired one deputy a year! He is the Sheriff! Its his jurisdiction to run that department how he sees fit. Then its up to the voters to decide every 4 years to see if they want him to continue. We have a good checks and balances in place. So far he has been a man of integrity. Just look how a southern sheriff operates. If the Sheriff doesn't like a deputy he can publicly tear off his badge and/or sergeant stripes at will. Does not need a reason in a southern state! He can hire and fire his under-sheriff at-pleasure. Its not at-will in a common wealth state. Its "at-pleasure" or you serve at pleasure of the elected official. Remember the one deputy that got caught running naked up at the Muskegon beech? That would not have happened in a southern state. I'm pretty sure the deputy who got fired "did something" and if the the Sheriff doesn't want to tell you what happened - then that's just tuff toe nails


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