Tolbert Statement on Howard Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Buffalo, NY October 26, 2017—It is surprising and deeply disturbing to learn that there is an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the sheriff’s office and Tim Howard by a female former deputy, especially as Sheriff Howard has made sexual harassment an issue in this campaign.

I will leave it to others to discuss the politics and the particulars of this matter. However, I do want to say something about leadership and office culture.

It is incumbent on all of us in all walks of life to treat each other with dignity and respect. That is what I have done throughout my professional career, and will continue to do when I am elected sheriff.

Yes, we will pursue, capture, and incarcerate criminals. Yes, we will make our roads, parks and public spaces safer. Yes, we will protect adults and children from domestic violence and abuse. We will do these things with energy and strength. At times we will do them with physical force and might, but we will never harass, insult, abuse, or mistreat people, whether they are inmates in our jails or colleagues in our work place.

I am committed to restoring professionalism to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and to providing leadership that will result in a law enforcement department of which everyone in our community will be proud.

I encourage Erie County voters to consider this case on November 7 and deny Tim Howard another term. Simply put, he must go. This case further proves the extent to which Tim Howard’s administration is built on abuse, mistreatment, and lies.

We know that inmates are routinely abused and mistreated in Tim Howard’s jails. Indeed, 22 people have died under his care. Now it is clear that his culture of brutality extends to the treatment of female employees as well.

We know Tim Howard lies about suicide attempts by inmates to avoid state oversight. In fact, he boasts about it. We know he lies about his opponents in campaign ads. His attack ads are false and desperate.

Now, with this lawsuit, we know just how deep his hypocrisy goes.