I wish I’d written this, a Jonesboro Sun editorial on the one-week suspension given Brant Tosh, the State Police criminal investigation division commander in Jonesboro, for misbehavior that should have gotten him fired. It was a case in which his father’s role as a Republican member of the state legislature undoubtedly had influence. Are we in a new era of clean government or not?
We posted the first account of the resolution of this long-simmering complaint against Tosh, son of Republican Rep. Dwight Tosh of Jonesboro, a retired State Police officer. But the Sun editorial by Editor Chris Wessel nails it.
Imagine, the editorial says, that you are a state police commander under investigation for 14 months and a report is finally released. It finds you:
• Violated state labor laws by not allowing your agents to take compensatory time off for time worked beyond their eight-hour daily schedules.
• Drove your state police vehicle for personal use.
• Used your position for personal advantage and to help friends.
• Instructed a state prison inmate assigned to ASP headquarters to do personal work for you.
• Exhibited numerous incidents of conduct unbecoming to your staff.
What do you think would happen?
Most folks would think they’d be fired. Some might think they’d be demoted to cleaning latrines until retirement.
Not Brant Tosh. He got an unpaid week off. He keeps his job in charge of people he’s belittled and misused. (His father has been complaining that his son has done no wrong, a poor reflection on how he viewed proper State Police conduct during his tenure.)
The editorial details the many specifics of Tosh’s poor interactions with staff, including daily belittling of an administrative assistant who he directed to do personal work for him related to his membership on the Valley View School Board.
In conclusion, Wessel writes:
So here’s the big question: Now that Tosh has served his one-week suspension in December, how does he lead a staff he’s abused and has no respect for him? Tosh has compromised any ability he may have once had as a leader. His self-inflicted wounds make him little more than a highly paid figurehead who’s also lost the respect of the community he serves.
If the professionalism at the ASP has fallen so low as to not fire Tosh, he should do the right thing and resign. That includes his seat on the Valley View School Board.
Through his actions, Tosh has proven he’s unable to lead a law enforcement agency whose purpose is to hold others accountable.
Governor Hutchinson? Senator Hendren? Speaker Shepherd? Rep. Tosh? Any thoughts? It was just yesterday that Hendren proclaimed about greed and corruption to the hosanna of his admirers:
We will not participate in it. We will not ignore it, and we will not tolerate those who do.