Michael Smigiel (below) is a Delegate to the Maryland state House and a Tea Party activist. Yesterday, on his website, he posted a damning story about the supposedly unethical hiring practices of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
I received a call recently from a very well respected Pastor whose son had applied to be a Harford County Sheriff’s Deputy and passed all the physical and mental tests he was given. The final thing he was asked to do was supply his high school diploma. The Pastor’s son provided his Maryland high school diploma from a high school certified by the Maryland State Board of Education but was told the Harford County Sheriff’s Office does not accept the high school diplomas from Christian Schools!
Believing there had to be some mistake in what was happening in this instance I called the Harford County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about the policy. The Sheriff was not available to speak with me but I was able to speak with a knowledgeable staff member who confirmed for me that this was a policy of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office but she explained this was an interpretation of a regulation of the Maryland Police Correctional Training Commission, (MPCT).
As of today, I do not know how extensive this practice is among the various Sheriff’s offices. I don’t know how many years the Harford County Sheriff’s Office has been discriminating against Christian applicants.
Wow… if students who attended a Christian school were banned from working in the Sheriff’s Office, even I’d be against that.
But it can’t be true, right? It sounds more like a Todd Starnes wet dream, pure fiction in the guise of Christian discrimination.
Smigiel may not have been able to chat with Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane… but I got through pretty quickly.
In fact, we just had a lengthy conversation about everything Smigiel got wrong.
Here’s the deal: Sheriff Bane wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to work for him regardless of religious background. Today, he had someone from Human Resources go through the personnel files of all current employees to see where they went to high school.
When I called him, they were at last names beginning with “P” and had already found 51 graduates of Christian high schools. That includes two commanders and a Chief Deputy.
Clearly, going to a Christian school isn’t a barrier for entry.
Bane added that the only “requirement” in this area is that the high school must be accredited by the state — but most religious schools usually are. Furthermore, Bane added, if a student went to a school that wasn’t accredited, he’d encourage those applicants to just send him a transcript and letter of intent; if he felt the student was qualified, he’d gladly sign a waiver.
Because he’s been inundated with calls over the past 24 hours stemming from Smigiel’s posting, and because there’s so much misinformation out there now (and more to come, I’m sure), Bane visited Harford Christian School this morning to send the message to students that he welcomes their applications. He plans to visit The John Carroll School (a Catholic institution) later today to do the same thing.
Simply put, Smigiel’s story is bullshit on stilts. He’s willfully ignorant regarding the Sheriff’s Office’s practices and he has yet to issue any corrections.
If people don’t get hired, it’s not because they’re Christians. It’s because they’re not qualified.
By the way, Sheriff Bane has been doing this job for eight years and this is the first time anyone’s ever suggested religious discrimination in his office.
That’s probably because there’s no religious discrimination at play.
(Thanks to Steve for the link)