By Marla Jones, Reporter • email@example.com
DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — Many people are commenting on a recent video with audio posted on Facebook regarding the DeKalb County Sheriff’s race. The audio is a segment of a conversation between a Sheriff office supervisor (presumably Assistant Chief Deputy Stanley Hollingsworth) and a Sheriff office deputy who has been identified as Terry Wadsworth. The conversation surrounds the recent heated DeKalb County Republican Sheriff primary race between Nick Welden (former Valley Head police chief) and Michael Edmondson (current Chief Deputy Sheriff). Welden defeated Edmondson for the DeKalb County Sheriff Republican nomination on June 5, 2018. During the conversation, the supervisor explained to Wadsworth that because of the lack of support that he and his wife showed for Edmondson during the primary race, he would not be receiving his already promised new patrol car. Initially, this audio was posted by Ida Wadsworth, the wife of Terry Wadsworth. As of the time of this writing, the video/audio has already exceeded 500+ shares on Facebook. Southern Torch reached out to those mentioned in the recorded conversation to get their perspective. Below is the audio of the recorded conversation:
John Baker’s response: Baker stated he was aware of the video and that he wasn't at the Sheriff's office at that time so he doesn't know enough to fully comment. He did question if the employee had went up the ladder, to the Sheriff, if he was unhappy about not getting a car. He had heard that the employee had recorded the conversation without the supervisor’s knowledge. He went on to state that he disagrees with political retribution and if elected Sheriff, will not take any political retribution against anyone who did not support him.
Nick Welden’s response: Stated that this was shocking. He said he doesn't like dirty politics, but hopes that this has opened people's eyes and that he will be praying for all involved. He went on to say that we don't need this this kind of politics in the Sheriff's office. The Sheriff’s job is to serve everyone, whether you are a democrat or a republican.
Michael Edmondson’s response: There are still cars to be given out. If someone would have came to me or the Sheriff about this and not be “Facebook bandits”, we would have told them this. Edmondson said he was still out on annual leave when this occurred and is just getting to the bottom of this matter as of this writing.
Terry and (wife) Ida Wadsworth’s joint response: I have been a dedicated employee for 14 years. For us, this wasn't political at all, this is about principles, morals and integrity. They have bullied people for so long and no one wants to stand up and say anything and take a stance against this... and enough is enough. Terry stated he had spoke directly with Edmondson about this and thought he was scheduled to receive a new vehicle. Since the election, Wadsworth stated he felt as if he is working in a hostile work environment and that his immediate supervisors will not talk with him. Wadsworth also went on to state that he has talked with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and they have turned this over the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
Sheriff Jimmy Harris’ response: Harris stated the he is not personally involved in assigning new vehicles to deputies but rather that would be the Chief Deputy and supervisor’s task. He also stated that he believes there are still some vehicles remaining to be distributed. Harris further stated that the Wadworths had reached out to him directly to let him know that this was not directed at him.
Asst-Chief Deputy Stanley Hollingsworth’s response: Respectfully declined to make any comments.
Southern Torch will continue to follow this story and update as more information becomes available.