Bernie Tolbert- Dem. Running for Erie Co. Sheriff

Sunday, November 5th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

We are 930 WBM good morning this debut though. Last hour you heard Erie county sheriff Tim Howard now it's time for his challenger Bernie Tolbert in studio with us for the next half hour. Both men on the ballot on Tuesday. And obviously we'll have coverage for you beginning at 9 o'clock on Tuesday night watching all of the elections on the ballot. The Big Three races in Erie county the county clerk's office the county comptroller's office this one the sheriff's race and all the legislators and Erie county there on the ballot as well. Bernie Tolbert thanks for stopping by thank you had me going I think that because sheriff Howard as the incumbent people might be more familiar with him and I I almost had to start off with what appears to be a softball question but give me the 32 bio as it were there may be people who don't know who Bernie Tolbert. So for those who don't know me I'm a buffalo born and bred dumb person I went to school here Gregory at the university of buffalo. Masters green social work had a number of jobs in the social of the area before I became an FBI agent. Mike FBI career as it is to take me across the country but I started buff like ended my career. As C special agent in charge of the buffalo division which covers seventeen counties in Western New York currently work for your county Child Protective Services I am a scene investigating yesterday Tony child protect services what does that mean they say senior investigator because you're punished said there's not necessarily a law enforcement post as much as they social worker well what we do lists I think I supervised tools go to county hired a cadre of retired law enforcement personnel. To assist caseworkers. What we do is we would conduct investigation on behalf of Child Protective Services. We also assistant workers going out with them on cases where they may be issues of concern perhaps a house within maybe I'll weapons may be. On drugs so it may be violent issues that we we glow with focus on those kinds of cases also has been alleged that cannot mob horsemen anymore you wouldn't agree with that I would agree I'm not a sworn law enforcement off yes indeed but since I retired from the FBI everything I've done has involved working with law enforcement collaboration. I'm planning with law enforcement and the security for the Athens and know Beijing Olympics. Worked with the law enforcement professional denotes those countries I've Russell who worked for the NBA have. Cornelius decree from our All Star Games our playoffs and again working hand and hand in hand with law enforcement a daily basis a lot of the issues in the race have vote basically devolved plan and you're running against incumbent this only makes sense. That devolved around to how sheriff Howard runs the office and myself that for aside just for a second we will certainly get to that. But talk about law enforcement issues instead things like. BO PR crisis what's your stance when we have a serious openly crisis not just in new kind of put across star across our entire country and MySpace is that we need to be more aggressive. We need to. Be on the cutting edge out front. On this issue instead of I've been involved in thing to other people stare I I'm I wanna be sheriff who looks at issue and says here's some things I'm gonna do I'm gonna progress so many others to join in with moon. Instead of me joining with them is that boom buried. Criminal issue in Erie county the crime. That related to what would you say polls open road to open road overdose drug issue is certainly a big concerns. But there are other crimes is a Randy rising violent crime prom this seems to be spreading out into our who suburban and rural areas. And I've had expansion into attacking drug issues I was as the program international Philadelphia ethicists especially he's in charge of the Philadelphia division of the FBI I was sorry drug program that meant always in the investigation working with the supervisors who. Had those wives and looking at what you do when making decisions on yes this is we're gonna go this is not improve on do so I had experienced action going on participating underestimates what can you do whenever a guy that we're not doing. Well as I said to a couple of things right we can put to good progress we've always been more aggressive but we just have to make sure that we partner with him collaborate with. Other parts of our community. With the the general public but with other. Not only other large force base but other community agencies who are in a position to assist law enforcement is that no constant if you see something say something. Wolf we're seeing something with more people work with more people will see more things the same thing you'll see more things in will be able to be more effective. For better or worse I think a lot of people perceive that county sheriff's office as the road patrols yes there's a lot more to it than that. But really literally whether rubber meets the road is probably out in the suburban communities. Where the road patrols are their most visible force in that regard tell me about DW lies is a winnable war. Well I think it is I would be. I would lose to ever say that we can't be successful run most things that have problems in our community so. I certainly will it's look to do them right something that we can't win it would take a lot of work to take a lot of effort. But that's what it's all about is is keeping innocent rational keeper of the effort getting more resources reckoning collaboration with other. Other entities to make sure that we can do that yet either other issues other pieces of the emerging crime picture and Erie county that are party platform that we haven't just mentioned in this list here. Boat to the Detroit focused on as the head until the crime should heroin. Openly overdoses in the rising of violent crime public is also. It is that we have seen a crime come what a leadership issue will we have to show strong leadership to our law enforcement personnel to our community. And that's something I think he's been lacking. Perfect segue then let's talk about some of the administrative issues that you've raised your wearing a button used to have it on your right here in the studio 22. Referring to 22 deaths in the holding sender or the jail. Under Tim Howard's tenure but I have to say that's a twelve year tenure. Averages one point eight he contends that's really not as significant as you making it to be well. Tony tool is number of confirmed deaths that we know that we're not natural death causes these suicides. And made and in other kind. But that 21 is too many for my accurate perspective certainly a jail type situation brings its own set of problems we've gone heavy shoes. But we should endeavor to make sure that room. People come into our holdings and their. And I just that we don't harm them so people come as a whole incident sinner and not guilty of anything a waiting for the cases did you indicated they should be able to leave as I said that have. Let I. I work hard to ensure that. We've reduced that number I'd like to see no death no unnatural deaths in ideal system how do you do it well one as you start with the net and edit tool that. We're gonna treat people well we're gonna treat them with respect and dignity I would I would be the last person to suggest we make our jails. Into a resort or else but it is not that it's a jail. But we also have to understand the people they come into the jails it's somebody's mother or father the sister or brother. This child and we should treat them as we want our own family and friends to be treated. That means respect dignity we handle criminals as they need to be handled but we don't do anything to hound them a lot of the sheriff's arguments. Against what you just said is. Resources. And or circumstances that that nothing there that has happened he basically says I'm paraphrasing here. Nothing that happens there. Are things that could have been changed by things that he could controlled you'll let me give you one example. The last death that we had in the holding senate banking on July and the gel there was a death in in July. It was reported by jail personnel. To lose to the media that the individual made a phone call and he left the phone went back to him when he left the phone he was crying in distraught. We're back to his cell area and an arm themselves. To me. There's something we can do somebody should be able to say there's something going on here let's make sure that this individual is not move anything that we can provide any kind of services. That's that's a red flag that suggest in my we will show him I do prom so we need to make sure that those kinds of instances. What will learn we have been aggressive make sure that we do and all we can. To ensure that the people and I care in custody and are we going over to our weekend there are already mental health professionals in the jail more than a lot of other jails I've talked in the health professionals are in our community who tell me that they don't get to referrals from the jail that they don't read the cars that they need I have. I have bad movement within a mental health individually and we made a place that when I'm elected we're going to sit down and talk and I had run mental health the head of alleging she said I will hold the first meeting. Of when your share in my office of other than health officials who work on things so there's where we can do. And a lot of the argument that you may making on the campaign trail is that that is indicative of maybe a broader problem in terms of administration. I think he's a problem of they did mention the more. Al lack of leadership that we have got some very dedicated professional law enforcement if people and others working in our sheriff's office and I don't. Will be a strong supporter of them. I had been advocate for that I am not suggesting that folks who work in the in this guy deputies and our other and jail guides and others aren't doing their job I'm sure they suffer from a lack of leadership. And that's what I will provide a strong leader who bring their who'll talk with him we'll find out what they need Jack the Ripper though let's say you're actually right you see things cost money. But just because they cost money doesn't go by hand say we can't handle. I will find a rook had to find ways to get the resources we need you ran against mayor Byron brown and primary few years back you ran for the school board. Not your running for sheriff sheriff Howard again sort of put it out there he's not a law enforcement guy. Are you were career politician balk back against that for me well. If I'm not a career politician this is actually not been elected to political office I ran twice Ross I did go to Mary school board. Abe Lincoln way and I'm glad I was trying to forehand was first elected as the Bill Clinton enables the old had successful political careers. And I don't consider myself a politician I consider myself. A strong community. Person or persons involved in his community who wants to do more for most of that was community. If that means running for office I'll do it that way I've always been I want a number of Bob voids that. It's agency to cost I don't count me. I do that because I wanna be involved and actually so that's why I run so my career politicians I don't consider myself a group politician I'll leave that up to people the public to decide. I'm approaching wants to help make this community is very best it can be a right now the elephant in the room and I know you might be limited in what you can say about it because it does involve litigation. But let's lacked let's let the advertise and speak this is one that sheriff Howard ran against you early in the campaign. Very little Colbert pretty. And it's just stand up for women but he's starving history tells a different story he was sued by women who worked for him in the NBA for sexual harassment. And more than works. According to sworn testimony is. Integrating photographs of women in a presentation of players are very told Martin he doesn't protect women's. She didn't lose. Bernie Tolbert and move out right for women not right for us. All right now assumed by women who worked for him in the NBA. Well they did did this year it's at an outright lie there was one lawsuit filed by one woman when I was in the NBA just one. It was not for sexual harassment it was over. What will whisper our constructive dismissal related to promotion and pay issues. Does share from his campaign this twisted that. To say sexual harassment I have never ever ever in my personal or professional life been accused of sexual harassment ever. Can we say that sexual harassment was involved in that case Annette Smith because her gender was part of the discrimination she faced. And my part I did to her gender played no role in my eight interaction with her. In effect I am very limited in what I can say but let me just say again. I've never been accused of sexual harassment. I have too many women who are important my left every do things that they would have to be ashamed of and after trying to live down. One it was alleged you can talk about the access public right. Alleged self pay and promotion should have been gotten into a high your job and in more pay raise was the suit settled way as a stand. I'm I'm I'm very limited the suit has long since over I think I am not and Libya talk about a night. I do understand that that's not a good answer but. It's it's something that was agreed to long time ago. If it's a settlement. And if it's something that's part of the public record. Why not hold a news conference stand up there with a bunch of documents in your hand and say here's proof here's what the testimony said. Rather than having to. Rely on someone is accused of something saying now it's not me man beaten because -- I cannot do that I'm I'm I am prohibited from doing. The and I would love to stand at at the mountaintop with. Horn and proclaim. And talk about all the things and I did. But I just can't get things that I did that go they chill I wouldn't above and beyond in how I treated everyone in particular this person but I can't do that. All right however he does something from the New York Times here Tolbert left the MBA is from an article that they printed Bakken 2017. Told her left the NBA in October 2010 a year after settling a sexual harassment suit filed against him by and that Smith and administrative assistant to Glover. That's warrant lover your predecessor in the security job viewers assistant at the time. It was lovers sworn testimony in the Smith case is suit says that helped trigger the chain of events leading to his dismiss standing and eventual dismissal so there's another case there. From Glover saying that that things didn't necessarily go the way they should've. Address our dream can't I liken CNN Linden that's sad that my main limitation is that spyware I left hand to. Wonder ever found his lawsuit fourteen months after I left the Indiana had nothing to it without a suit for debt says he was retaliated against. In the NBA let people know they let. I believe the 125. People go at one time. I was not there I had been there in fourteen months I was not consulted. On on anything to do with him I was that ask ahead and actually zero. Input into what happened until I was out of the part that it all right another another line here from the New York Times article in 2004. And employment says named Salomon also up complained that she had been subjected to. Quote offensive verbal remarks from another security director Jon Daniels. After she rebuffed as advancements Losman lawsuit says. When Glover relayed those complaints Tolbert dismiss them as false. At accused of south of trying to damage Daniel's career again and that's a false rotation can't do so in the NBA and other place ever to. You cannot talk about personal issues with in general. Complained and complained that can react to to a human resources department as was a policy. And I do that in this case I human resources department. Took it over into other investigation I'm just wasn't there live either say I'd take this human resource so I've done this or I've done that I just couldn't do that but. Anytime anyone would bring anything to me I would look at it I would have put every discussion I need to have and I would make sure that those who are responsible human resources were aware of and I think you can ask you about this one and head and have you comment because I think I've heard your comment before. Part of the Howard ad there also says the use demeaning stuff as part of the presentation a training. Presentation to players. Talk about that what's your side of that story. When I. And as has security I had to speak with the other players as they can really to have rookie transition program very young players. It was my will to make to get them to understand some of the things that they were gonna confront as it became NBA players. I may have a presentation. They rose run around photograph it wasn't salacious at all it runs comes from a mile and same came from a cover only the front of a drink prior. And it was something night. That was title loses not to gauge market was impervious was explained the players. When you don't think he joked he sometimes do things that you wouldn't normally do that that would get to until we find yourself that situation wouldn't only be it wasn't a picture of a woman who sexually demeaning. It took it it was I would certainly not an annoying that did. The impact that it had but it wasn't. Elicit a German woman who had closing share them. Bottoms and a tap on inching lose a redhead who won an issue was lying on the bed in front coming out from under you see two feet. And my whole purpose was to say. This is an NBA DC it would have been the focus of that particular conversation is not on the run it and all was about. The three go on there and I said this is a defeat of an NBA player. We go back to training camps look at these really no intention whose fan wants to focus was if you do something if you drink you may end up in places that you wouldn't want to be doing things that could cause you problems that was all and you don't see those to me. I would as this I would not use that photograph knowing that it could happen it could cost problem a lot of things in today's world that. Different but it was not as I said wasn't salacious and wasn't. I'm so. In any way shape or form but. Knowing the impact your head on people I wouldn't use it again all right we have about thirty seconds left closing statement one is the number one reason in your mind to vote for Bernie Tolbert above the burden to others I've got a history of a leadership by showing how I've led the FBI in this area I've come I've been found in things that have helped make actually better. The red river very sheer power has been in office for twelve years in this time for a change. We kind deserves better you deserve nothing less than the sheriff's office decade it will be the very best they can be. I'm the person can bring about the change. Democrat Bernie Tolbert who's running for Erie county sheriff on the ballot on Tuesday. They'll just about do it for this program both the interview with sheriff Howard earlier and the interview now with candidate Tolbert will be up online shortly at WBN dot com.