Friday morning, Floyd County sheriff’s candidate Tom Caldwell joined us on the Hometown Headlines Radio Edition on WRGA 98.7 FM to talk about his exit a week earlier and what’s next. Caldwell is continuing his campaign for sheriff, running as a Republican.
In the interview, which is available above, Caldwell says he did not campaign on the job, violating a stipulation Sheriff Tim Burkhalter put on two officers under his command who have announced their bids to replace him when he retires: Caldwell and Capt. Dave Roberson (Ronnie Kilgo has joined the race as well and others will soon follow).
Caldwell says upcoming events will add clarity to what he classified as his unjust removal. (You can read the dismissal story here).
Friday afternoon, Burkhalter posted this statement on his personal Facebook page regarding Caldwell’s dismissal.
“I have a few comments regarding our recent dismissal of Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell. I hired Tom Caldwell 13 1/2 years ago as my Chief Deputy. I have always been a Tom Caldwell fan and he did an admirable job in this position. Aside from that Tom has been my closest friend and confidant and we have been many miles together as both friends and co-workers.
“No one in this entire world wanted this ending less than I. During our career together, we led by example, from the front and transparently with our peers, many times taking the brunt of opinion doing so. Said simply, Tom was my right hand man and I trusted him with my life and he mine. We watched over each other’s children and families and I considered him my brother.
“The decision that I had to make wasn’t a personal decision, it was a personnel decision and the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make as your sheriff. I wish Tom only the very best in his endeavor for sheriff and understand why he is doing what he feels he has to do. I am not angry at him nor do I want to ever wish him ill will or his family.
“I want to get this straight, to those clamoring for rebuttals and retribution. I made the tough decisions that you elected me to make and it hurts me to the bone, more than I could ever describe with words.
“With this said, I choose to move on, and strive to be a better sheriff my final two years and be as positive as I can be to ensure that whomever our next sheriff may be will have an office in order, with the best most dedicated public safety professionals in Floyd County.”