To the editor:
I agree with the Lee County Sheriff's recent editorial opinion concerning Congressmen Trey Radel's recent alcohol/drug disease.
As a Master's level psychotherapist who worked with drug offenders in an internationally recognized drug offender's program at a medical school in Ohio and working as a military advisor in the international drug interdiction operations, I told offenders to fear when you get out of jail. Try to find a job or a place to live or get a loan or insurance. A criminal history is a life sentence. The Sheriff states "I have hundreds of inmates in our jail that are unable to return to their homes due to similar or lesser drug offenses," and I agreed this is not fair. Maybe we should not be putting first offenders who possess unlawful drugs in jail. The offender gets three meals per day; free housing in Lee County's gated community with health insurance, in-house cable and gym and, in some cases, conjugal visits, at our expense. However, we are all aware; the legal system is not fair and never will be fair. What we have to do in our society is to trust our elected judges, prosecutors and law enforcement to fairly apply the law.
With this said, I agree with the Sheriff, "Trey Radel was not properly vetted during his inaugural run for office." We will find many in Congress with this disease, the Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy who was married and killed his pregnant girlfriend in a crash off the side of a bridge and he did not resign; drunk and high Patrick Kennedy crashing into the steps of Congress supposedly on his way to vote at 2 a.m. in the morning and we could go on and on. We see local officials like former Lee County commissioners being arrested for using cocaine and another for misuse of campaign funds. Lee County citizens can make positive changes by demanding earned trust and sobriety in government elected servants.
This 2014 election we need leadership and healing because trust in Government is broken. We need to vet these candidates and I humbly request the Sheriff perform random voluntary blood screens on all candidates at the candidate's expense and make the results public and identify those who refused. I believe it is time to walk the walk, and stop the talk.
Jack Mattachione, MRC
Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling