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Editor’s note: Dudley Friend Adle Jr., who ran unopposed for the constable, sent the following letter to Marion County Clerk Karen Spalding in light of the Marion County Fiscal Court’s recent decision to require him to post a $2 million surety bond.
The Marion County Fiscal Court met on Nov. 15 to discuss the constable position in District E. At that meeting they concluded that a surety bond of $2,000,000 would be required for the position of constable in District E.
The state recommended amount for a surety bond is $10,000. However, they leave it up to the individual counties to set any amount they feel is needed.
Public official or surety bonds are used to guarantee the honesty and faithful performance of those people who are elected or appointed to positions of public trust.
I feel that by setting the bond at such a high amount, they have very little trust or confidence in me. They’re trying to send me a message that they don’t want me to function in the position of constable. This is all right with me. I ran for the position of constable because I thought it was a function that would allow me to serve my community.
I have never personally met any member of the fiscal court. They don’t know what I look like, physical condition, knowledge or ability to function in the position of constable. They only know that I was 75 years old when I applied for the position. By putting the bond amount so high for a non-paying job, I could only assume that they’re using my age to determine my fitness. What other conclusion could I make?
I felt from the beginning that my function as a constable was to serve legal papers and documents for the county fiscal court. I realize that a constable has authority to do a lot of police functions. However, I don’t feel that I need to duplicate the duties of the sheriff’s office. My role would have been to free up some of the administrative duties that the sheriff’s office is now required to do.
Since the surety bond has been set at such a high amount and that the fiscal court doesn’t have any confidence in me, I request to be relieved from taking the elected office of constable.
Dudley Friend Adel Jr.