Bracken, Howard to square off in race for sheriff

Huron County Sheriff's Capt. James Bracken has filed petitions to run for sheriff. "With the variety of capacities I've served in here and by working with the sheriff on budget issues and other administrative issues such as policies, I think that has prepared me administratively to be sheriff," Bracken said.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


Huron County Sheriff's Capt. James Bracken has filed petitions to run for sheriff.

"With the variety of capacities I've served in here and by working with the sheriff on budget issues and other administrative issues such as policies, I think that has prepared me administratively to be sheriff," Bracken said.

Bracken, who has been in the department for almost 17 years, will run as a Republican to replace his step-father, Sheriff Richard Sutherland.

Bracken said Sutherland has endorsed him for the position based on his professional qualifications.

Bracken started as a corrections officer in 1990. He worked road patrol for several years, was in the detective bureau for six years and was SWAT team leader for seven years. He was promoted to captain in 2006.

Bracken resigned from the sheriff's department in September 1993 and worked for several months as a New London police officer. "We had some layoffs in the sheriff's department and I was junior man," he said. When another officer left the sheriff's department and the financial situation improved, Bracken applied again and was re-hired for road patrol duties in 1994.

He said staffing and financial concerns will probably continue to be an issue for the department. "That's always going to be a concern," Bracken said.

Before joining the sheriff's department, Bracken served four years in the Marine Corps.

Bracken said he would not comment on any changes he will consider as sheriff at this point. "This has been a good department for a lot of years," he said.

Detective Sgt. Dane Howard, a Democrat, has also taken out petitions to run for sheriff. "I plan on filing them very soon," he said.

Kathleen Schaffer has already filed her petitions to run for re-election as county treasurer and Joe Kovach has filed his for county engineer. Both are Democrats.

Republicans Ralph Fegley and Gary Bauer have taken out petitions to retain their seats as commissioners. Democrat Sharon Ward has taken out petitions to run against Fegley.

Other incumbent officeholders that have taken out petitions are Republicans Susan Hazel for clerk of courts, Dr. Jeff Harwood for coroner and Tim Cardwell for probate and juvenile judge and Democrat Russ Leffler for prosecutor.

All petitions must be filed with the board of elections by Jan. 4.


kizor_sozae (An...

"This has been a good department for a lot of years," ...what a joke not to mention a being used for toys and special interest instead of adding to road patrol and the like....The Sutherlands and step-son Bracken are in for a rude awakening when Dane Howard wins the election...time for new blood and an honest, fiscally minded Sheriff's Office.

Here we go.... ...

Relax...Dane hasn't even filed his petition yet!! He's still doing paper work for shooting family pets.

me (Anonymous)

Go Dane!!

Howard for Sher...

I have to say that Dane Howard is a very hard working man. He has represented Huron County since the mid 90's and has done a fine job. Howard being the best detective the Sheriff's office has had is his tenure. Flat out He works until the job is done. As for his counterpart, I have heard that he spent several years in a conference room trying to use his investigation skills to find what word fits in 6 across and 7 down. And what did the sheriff's office do to him for, what I would consider as theft, (receiving a pay check for doing nothing) they promoted him once again to add another ten thousand dollars to that paycheck.

Howard is the best candidate for Huron County Sheriff.

RE: howard for ...

Good writing, Dane.

BRACKEN for she...

"I believe that the sheriffs department will succeed throughout the years because of quality work and devotion that it's officers put in. Making a team effort to preform there daily tasks, and having guidence from a person who has those leadership qualities that everybody looks for. James Braken fulfills every quality that a person can have. Thats way i say BRACKEN for sheriff.

Go Breaken (Ano...

I'd have to say Howard did NOT use good judgment on that dog call. If this is the type of leadership we can expect from him as Sheriff, I'd have to say I'd go with Jamie. Look's like he started in the jail and worked his way up. I have a lot of respect for someone who came up the ranks from the bottom

Dane Howard for...

Time for new blood, go for it Dane......You've got my vote, Dane Howard for Sheriff !!!!!!

Go Jamie!! (Ano...

New Blood? Your going to have the same people telling him what to do. Thats not even going to come into play. That sounds like something a desperete person would say.

It's time (Anon...

for the Sutherland dynasty to END!!!!!!! I drive by Sutherland's house every day and the truck that the county pays him to serve US with NEVER moves. He's always home never in Norwalk doing his job. The S-I-L will be no different. He will be making an AZZ of himself at the county fair and the local festivals just like daddy does. Dane is a hands on guy. He goes out on the road and does his job not hide behind a desk at home. Vote Dane Howard for an active sheriff. And to you eggheads that don't think the dog should have been shot..... Well lets see you stand there and make nice with the other one. I dare you. I wouldn't wait for the dog to run me back in the house. Both of them would have been dead along time ago!!!!!! They needed it.

Re: Its Time (A...

Has it ever crossed your mind he's taking vacation days? I bet the Sheriff will be glad to know he has a STALKER. I hear him out at 2 AM sometimes. Buy a scanner pea brain its not a 9-5 job!! He has to have a vehicle anyway's and I bet that PU was cheaper than a car. I'm guessing he can do his job from anywhere so what's being in Norwalk have to do with anything? If he has to go to Norwalk its only a 20 Min drive. I'd say Dick put his time in on the road! Thinking back didn't Dick had a run in with a guy who had a knife, Lost a finger and managed to get threw it without shooting him! Dane has a run in with a 60 pound family pet and has to shoot it? I guess they don't make men like they used to... And if you think shooting a dog with a taser and shooting at wont make it attack, Your crazy!! Just a example of the poor judgment we can expect from Howard. A smart man would have kept his a$$ in the car till the dog warden got there!!

smalltowner (An...

My vote goes to ..........................
Todd Corbin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come on Todd,PLEASE???????????????????????
WE NEED YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An_Employee (An...

1. Bracken was "promoted" with a 10k raise to captain over 3 other candidates with more years of service and arrest records...Sutherland put his brother and his top 3 buddies and his brother Bob Sutherland on the "promotion committee". The 3 candidates have filed grievences.

2. Before being promoted to Captain Bracken was known as "3 down and 7 across" as he spent his days playing crossword puzzles...not out on road patrol like the deputies he now captains over.

3. Bracken hasn't "earned" his way to the top, he is another relative (of many at the S.O.) of the Sutherlands.

4. Chief Deputy Bob Sutherland makes over 50k a year plus another 50k a year in pension (double-dipping)....he works Wednesdays showing forclosure homes to realtors.

5. Number 3 top dog Virgil Valentine also makes 50k plus another 50 or so in pension...another double dipper....he's in charge of there is a inmate administrator, not to mention an inmate supervisor...little top heavy wouldn't ya say?
meanwhile the Sheriff says he has no money for road deputies...which there are only two on a shift to patrol the whole county at any given time.

This is a small example of some of the Sutherland family's reign...there is much more that will all come out in the coming months.

I ask you to ask firefighters, county employees, and sheriff office employees who they will vote for and why.

OK.... (Anonymous)

And you don't think Howard isn't going to do the same thing? Put his buddys up there at the top? I'm Guessing all Sheriff Department's are like this. Everyone knows it and it's nothing new. It go's all the way back to the old west. And the Double-Dipping Well its all over the State of Ohio and they ALL get away with it. If you could do it would you? As for the rest...Well you would know better than me. I would think Police work is 90% waiting for something to happen and 10% doing something. I sure all cops find ways to pass the time. Even sleeping!!

An_employee (An...

And those are your reasons for voting for Bracken????
Proves the point that Bracken has not accomplished anything to warrant the position of Sheriff...nice try

OK... (Anonymous)

I didn't say who I was voting for...I was just pointing out the facts as I see them. There's a long time before we have to worry about a vote. Right? And you and I are only 2 votes!!

good department...

The Sheriff's Office is the worse law enforcement agency in the area. Jamie has never accomplished anything and is only capable of accepting his daddies promotions. Jamie (baby sutherland) wouldn't make a wart on a good cops as#.It would be laughable if I didn't live in the county.

Dave Rimmer, Li...

From an outsiders point of view I would not dare to interfere in your elections for politicians or police officers for that matter but it does seem to me that nepotism has crept into the police department. From bitter experience, nepotism is a very, very dangerous practice.
Ta Ta for now

Matt Spencer (A...

Lets not forget the former Detective who is still awaiting trial. I am sure we will all find things out about the sheriff's department that we didn't know before when the trial starts. WASN'T BRACKEN AND SPENCER PARTNERS?????

Deer Dave, (Ano...

Have you ever been to the London Dungeon?

Thankful (Anonymous)

I am extremely thankful for the job Sheriff Sutherland has done for Huron County and will be sad to see him leave the post. He has done a fabulous job of instilling honesty and integrity in the Sheriff's Dept. and does not put up with crap. I hope his step-son will do the same and look forward to seeing him become the next Huron County Sheriff.

RE: Matt (Anonymous)

Actually, Everytime I seen Matt he was with Dane. Matt would have had more credit for what he was saying IF he would have said it before he was arrested. Too bad I actually liked Matt.I really don't understand why some of the Deputys stayed there if thay were so unhappy. There are alot of countys out there that pay much better.

An_Employee (An...

Comment deleted because of content.

No (Anonymous)

Howard will do what he thinks is right for the department not for himself or his friends. If you take a look at the Sheriff's office now they are reactive. For the most part they do not run traffic because some say they have been told not to, because it will cause overtime should someone contest it. However, this would raise some money for the county and make the roadways SAFER. Have you noticed the high amount of fatal crashes this county has had in the past few years. I believe Howard would make them a proactive department where they would seek violators of both criminal and traffic laws, rather than sitting back and waiting.

Re: An_Employee...

OK..Just because it's placed in the general fund there is no garentee you going to get it back. Right? I understand what your trying to say. But I'm telling you it may not work like you think it would. We all know that it'll get spent for something else. NOW, TELL ME I"M WRONG And just so you know, Fatal crashs are down in Huron county. Check your facts at the Ohio State Patrol website.

Buba (Anonymous)

hey , which one them dudes was burnin rubber with the cop car at the roeder party with the chick hangin her boobs out the window ?

pope ottomus......

i think that the Sutherland brothers have done a great job in law enforcement...but i am not sure that their work ethic will continue down to the next generation!! as far as Dane Howard is concerned.. he seems competent, but his weight might be an issue.. i don't want someone who will have bad health, because of all of the stress from the job, or having him having heart problems in office..

burnin rubber (...

Neither of them it was Bob Skillikorn.

request for the...

If any voters do not know who they should vote for, ask any member of law enforcement in the county. They would be able to tell you who they feel would make a better sheriff. In my opinion there is no question, hands down, Dane Howard is the man for the job.

RE: Request (An...

So your saying that Howard will give them whatever they want? That great for the Deputy's but not quit what I'm looking for as a tax payer. He can make all the promises he what's to you guys but you'll be the first to complain when he can't deliver. Regardless of whom gets it I doubt we'll notice any big changes, There's only so much money he's going to have to work with. Howard is a big talker and will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. And it looks like it's working on you guys. I like them both and I'll wait for the debate to see what they got to say. And as far as I know, Howard has not turned in his petition yet. So he need's to put up or shut up. (No offence just an expression)