Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Rick Jones recently was arrested by one of his own deputies for speeding. “I’m not above the law,” Jones said. “Everything I stand for comes out in that ticket.” The Cincinnati Enquirer says that “for the umpteenth time” since he took office a year ago, Jones’ antics grabbed headlines. Last year, Jones became a celebrity of sorts when he became the nation’s second sheriff, after Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to put inmates to work in voluntary, but controversial, chain gangs. News outlets from as far away as Germany, France, and Australia ran reports on the gangs.
Jones introduced a tasteless loaf-like concoction called a Warden Burger that problem prisoners are fed three times a day with bread and water. He pulled the plug on satellite television for inmates. Jones’ latest foray to center stage, proposed legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to be arrested on state trespassing charges, was viewed by some as an unfair attack on the Hispanic population. Jones erected a bright yellow sign in front of his jail with an arrow that points “illegal aliens” to the front door. “It’s very irresponsible for public officials to be scapegoating people in their communities who can’t vote, who don’t have a voice and are afraid of the power that the public officials wield,” said Ezra Escudero of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.