I met with Bill McReynolds today. My purpose was to seek information on the bumper (see previous posts) issue, so that I could make up my own mind as to whether McReynolds acted properly.
If I had my way, politicians would avoid doing business with the government. By my way of thinking, if a government official is engaged in private business transactions with government, one may well wonder whether the primary purpose of said transactions is to benefit the public or to benefit the politician. My purpose today was to detirmine whether his public obligations were compromised by his private pursuits.
I can find no evidence to suggest that the citizens of Racine County were shortchanged as a result of McReynold's business dealings with the county. I reach this conclusion based on the evidence which includes documents provided by Bill McReynolds as well as the conversation that I had with him.
McReynolds, as County Sheriff, became aware of a need for the push bumpers. The company that they had been purchasing from had recently gone out of business. McReynolds had a friend who he thought might be interested in producing the bumpers. McReynolds, his friend, and one other person (I didn't think that it is necessary to name them) formed a company that would produce the bumpers. McReynolds maintains that his involvement was limitted. He was 1/3 owner and he contributed $2000 for start up costs. McReynolds told me that he was involved in sales calls to the sheriffs departments of other counties, but that he did not make any effort to influence the decision at the Racine County Sheriffs Department. He acknowledges that the patrol captain who made the purchasing decision for the RCSD was aware of McReynolds involvement with the company. The company, Force Engineering, sold a small quantity of bumpers to RCSD and other Sheriffs departments. McReynolds stated that the bumpers were of good quality and that the prices were fair. The citizens of Racine County did not overpay for the bumpers.
Now I would be very interested to hear from anyone who is willing to challange Bill McReynolds' version of events. But at this point, there is nobody challenging his narrative. Instead, what we have are politically motivated people, and a local newspaper, also politically motivated, who would like very much for McReynolds to be guilty of wrongdoing. But unless and until they can provide actual evidence of wrongdoing, it is reasonable to conclude that they are merely engaged in election year maneuvering.