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Altiere’s challenger sees morale trouble

Published: Sun, February 12, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Letson’s personal issues may have attracted large field of opponents

By Ed Runyan



As challenger to 18-year incumbent Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere, James Phillips has repeatedly questioned Altiere’s professionalism and what he considers to be a morale problem with the sheriff’s department.

Phillips, who retired in 2009 after 36 years with the department, said in a recent interview that Altiere was once a good sheriff.

“But it’s like ... a steak knife. If you don’t use it, it gets dull,” Phillips said.

Chief among Phillips’ complaints is that Altiere’s management team consists of eight or so supervisors, and all but one works the day shift.

“The sheriff has 43 deputies. Twenty-five of those deputies are on day turn with weekends off, and that creates in my opinion ... a morale problem because you have a few officers doing the work of many.”

Phillips says only one of Altiere’s eight top administrators — assistant chiefs, captain, lieutenants, and major — work anything but day shift Monday through Friday.

If Altiere wanted to provide better service to taxpayers and improve morale within the sheriff’s office, he could move a couple of his managers to afternoons and midnights. As it is now, without a full complement of managers in those slots, a non-manager gets bonus pay for working a management job, Phillips said.

“People get tired of the unfairness. I believe I can correct it by being accountable, by making the work more equitable,” Phillips said. He adds that he believes the department had a large amount of call-offs in 2011, and the reason for it was low morale.

Altiere says he doesn’t believe there is a morale problem, first of all. And the union wouldn’t allow him to move managers from day shift to other shifts. He also doesn’t believe moving managers would provide better service or save money because someone would have to move to days to fill their position, Altiere said.

Altiere first raised the issue of family members among the two candidates, noting that Phillips has two sons working as corrections officers in the jail.

Phillips says that is true, but he never had anything to do with either of them getting hired. They both have college degrees, meaning they are well-qualified for the jobs, Phillips said.

As Phillips and others have pointed out, Altiere’s daughter-in-law works at the sheriff’s office. And as the sheriff has said before, she worked for the sheriff’s office before she married Altiere’s son.

Altiere’s daughter-in-law’s mother also works at the sheriff’s office as a receptionist, but Altiere said he doesn’t believe she qualifies as a relative. “I’ve never been to her house,” Altiere noted.

Phillips has said on multiple occasions that he has a higher level of honesty and integrity than Altiere. “I have a high level of that,” Phillips said, adding, “It should come automatically.”

Phillips has declined to discuss specifics on that topic.

Phillips said he retired in 2009 specifically so he could run for sheriff against Altiere and told Altiere that.

Altiere, 62, said this will be his last term as sheriff.

Phillips was chief of detectives for 15 years at the end of his time at the sheriff’s office.


1CommuterTSD(3 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

So Altiere believe's there isn't a morale problem? I guess he hasn't noticed that there has been a history of problems with those he hires and just in the last month, one of his highest ranking employees left. And he offers, the UNION wouldn't allow him to run a more efficient and equitable operation?

The 18-year incumbent Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere has no message and really no accomplishments during his tenure other than using county property for personal business.

Just go to the Trumbull County Sheriff's web site and click on the link "Sheriff's Message" and be prepared . . . . How long has he been in office? Lisa, I'm sure its not your fault.

If there are any thinking citizens out there in Trumbull County that care to do a little home work and learn about the differences between Altiere and Phillips, just Google James R. Phillips for Sheriff and also be prepared . . .

And Vindicator, you too would have done well to so some home work on Jim's web site rather than blindly giving your endorsement to the incumbent.

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2Miki(99 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

If things are so bad, why do Jim's sons continue to work for Altiere?

At least in Trumbull County, our races are not fixed by the Dem. Party Chairman, like in Mahoning Co.

In Trumbull Co., we use the front door for our voting.

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3romans13and4(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Mr. or Mrs. Loser: You must be an Altiere backer as well, and you should look up the definition of slander. Here it is in short. Defamation—also called slander, and libel —is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, government, or nation a negative image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published. It is usually a requirement that this claim is false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed.
Let’s break it down. I believe a Major just resigned and is now working on Phillips committee, FACT. Altiere claims that the Union will now allow him to move supervisors, FALSE. The Sheriff has the right to assign and has exercised it often to punish those he doesn’t like. The Contract is listed on the County Web site. So again a LIE! The Sheriff’s Department OFFICIAL Web site has a place for Sheriff’s Message, Its empty, FACT. During speeches to local Block watch and even to the Democratic committeemen Altiere only talks about his cutting grass and picking up trash with inmates, (Which costs him money) , NOT a word about becoming more effective in fighting the rising violence in the County. And Yes all the cities and Townships are a part of the County. FACT. So Please tell us what is slanderous?
Why are his sons still working there? This area does not offer an abundance of jobs, so they would be foolish to leave. They must have the qualifications to work there, Altiere hired them. And I’m sure if he could find a way he would fire them. AS for their future it going to be a detriment for them if their Father gets elected because they will be stuck in their present positions since he can NOT promote them.
Altiere claims to have endorsements from a grocery list of organizations, he may have the support of a member but I would love to see him produce documentations that confirms each and every one of them. Anyone can see them on his public face book page. So Again False claims by him. Jim Phillips is the better choice, and it is a shame that the Vindicator didn’t take a harder look before endorsing the incumbent.
And then the Sheriff Says he’s never been to his daughter in-laws mothers’ house? So, Is he saying that he didn’t know she was her mother when he hired her? Come on. I guess there wasn’t a family dance at the wedding. Maybe he should leave his office and introduce himself to her.

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4rocky14(839 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

So Jim Phillips is a double dipper huh?
He retires,then comes back and gets another paycheck.That's what we need!

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5romans13and4(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Correction: Altiere claims the union will NOT allow him to move supervisors.

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6dd4tom(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Maybe someone should look at the nepotism in the department. One of the Chief Deputies in particular has a son under his direct supervision and is looking to promote him. Numerous relatives of this Chief have been hired over the last few years in the Sheriffs Office and other County offices and I believe his Wife collected a pay check for several years without even coming to work at the TCSO. OOppsss . As for Altieres lame excuse that he has "Never even been over her house" when refering to his sons mother-in-law that shows the character flaw in this man. He and this woman share a Grandchild together, and he doesnt consider her family????? The woman is a great lady...I have no problem with her..But ALTIERES refusal to answer such a simple question and to deny that she is family is rediculous and shows his ignorance and his uncanny ability to LIE THROUGH HIS TEETH... Id like to say more...but Im getting sick to my stomach just thinking about this man. What a sham of a leader.

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7loyalty1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

As with all prior elections the departed have once again resurfaced from the depths to give their opinion and/ or endorsements in regards to the Sheriff's race.Like locusthey emerge every four years to cause destruction. As a member of the Sheriff's office who can proudly say that I have and do know what true " integrity" is, I can no longer sit backwithout a comment. Since the sheriff has been in officethe department has improved in many areas, remained the same in others,and declined in yet others. I have seen several employees come and go. What amazes me is the former employees who he gave jobs to and have come to us as political hires and no longer work here due to quitting, being fired, indicted, or even sent to jail.Either waythe man( like him or not) gave YOU a chance and YOU screwed it up. This isn't about Altiere or Phillips this is about YOU. The idiot who has hard feelings because YOU couldn't keep a job in which YOU probably didn't deserve anyway. Even though your only qualification is being a " GOOD GUY",you still insisted upon ebarrassing this department, your famalies, and yourself. Your expert opinion on integrity is neither wanted nor benefiting the individual you are supporting. YOU are Losers..... please go away.... P.S if you are reading this and thinking " Are they referrinr to me?"..... Yes I am....

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8loyalty1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

The people with the comments about a Chief Deputy having a son working there is true but to the fact about advancement is not. You must be ignorant not to know that there is a test given for advancement. You are so willing to throw that out but what about the Phillips boys that both work for the sheriff. If they were so qualified like you say why is it that the one has O.P.O.T.A certificate but isnt working anywhere? Could it be that he was let go for an O.V.I after he crashed his car. The facts are the Sheriff has hired 90 percent of the people that work there . He put food on all you losers tables that are against him. He hired a man who worked for him when no one else would than resigns to back the other canidate agaist the Sheriff. Where is your Loyalty at??? The Sheriff has managed to add 12 Deputies with no layoffs while other counties are taken concessions and are being layed off. If the moral is low its not the Sheriff fault its your own and mayber you should just quit.

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9romans13and4(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

So the Sheriff does provide “political hires”? Are you an insider that knows this for sure? Are you an administrator that is now attacking the other candidate’s sons? I think the Sheriff better look into his own house before you start throwing stones at others. That is a shame; I thought all department members have to have certifications from the state? He gave a job to someone who had an unblemished career in Law Enforcement and retired, now has seen the unjust treatment of employees and LACK of Integrity so he decided to try to make thing right. Wow. He added 12 deputies with no layoffs, but has asked everyone to take a pay freeze for the past 4 years. But has no problem paying an outside Lawyer a bunch of money to negotiate a contract. Really Mrs. Loyalty, don’t come to a battle of wit empty handed. Oh yea are you calling all citizens with signs in their yards Losers? What happened to the 1st amendment as well as the freedom to support a person’s candidate of choice?

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10theboys(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

lets not talk about LOYALTY at the sheriffs office. haveing worked there in the past as a reserve officer.who put in years of service and many hours working the road for free. only to watch the sheriff hire political hires and ones the can help him in that matter $$$$$. or friends of family. o yes lets not forget about the chief deputys daughters boy friend. so loyalty1 your post tell me you are one of those hires. explain why the chiefs son and daughters boyfriend have been hidden away in the courts untill after the election because it is only until the election is over. if you dont think there are serious problem with the sheriff then you are blind by choise.

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11romans13and4(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Loyalty you posted at 230 pm, Hope it wasn’t from your office on a county computer. hmmmm.

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12kicked2thecurb(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

i guess that other incidents can go under the rug if you are top dog. all's fair in politics isn't it? just a little food for thought! what about qualified people that have put in years of free time as in no pay only to be told next time we hire you will be first. guess that doesn't work either! what about members that have training above those brought out yet can't seem to find favor to get hired because of another commitment. enough is enough time for a change!!!!

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13romans13and4(16 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

I notice the list of endorsements that Altiere claims to have on his public Facebook page is shrinking. Local unions have been complaining that He is listing them without their actual endorsement. And others have even laughed stating they don’t even have a presence in Trumbull County. Where is Mrs. Loser’s comment in regards to this? He still thinks he can do whatever he wants and not be held accountable. I can hear the swishing of the broom already.

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14dd4tom(2 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Not only has the SHERIFF or his SECRETARY posted false endorsements on his web site...His RESERVE COMMANDER also has sent messages ON THE COUNTY EMAIL SYSTEM to ALL JAIL EMPLOYEES who hold a SHERIFFS COMMISSION. These messages and emails are POLITICAL in nature and direct them or should we say ORDER THEM to participate in the SHERIFFS RE-ELECTION ACTIVITIES...Oh look..Im looking at one of these emails NOW...

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15watchfuli(1 comment)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

@ Romans 13 &4 Miss Loyalty is spouting off as she is the personel director/Sheriffs secretary and is in fear of losing her politicaly appointed job if our current sheriff loses his relection bid...as an administrator she has no protection from the union and serves at the mercy of the elected sheriff she speaks of an OVI event but lets all put our thinking caps on and think back to this past spring when Sheriff Altieres son was aressted , indicted for felony Dr. shopping and was basically let off with a slap on the wrist ....and allowed to keep his police certification from the state if this were your child ......you`d be speaking to them through wire mesh on the holidays but this wasn`t an embarrassment to the dept as she keeps refering to and in closing for now we will see which "Idiot" can`t hold a job she doesn`t deserve if the challenger is elected and our fine commisioners need to look into when this political stuff is being entered on county owned computers and county time they just got rid od David Dicristefaro for misuse of county property !!!!!!!

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