Saturday, June 6, 2009

Village Idiot of the Day, June 5, 2009: Sheriff Tim Swanson

There are so many reasons for Tim Swanson to be our Village Idiot: arrogance and abuse of office, his retire-hire scheme, Hope Steffy. Now we have the Valentina Dyshko case.

On March 10, 2006, Ms. Dyshko a resident of Lake Township and a Ukrainian immigrant, was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant issued by the Stark County Family Court, accusing her of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor." Dyshko says the dispute was over a textbook she used in homeschooling two of her eight children. No details are known other than the charge was dismissed after a quick review by the court.

The Repository covered what happened next. The best coverage, however, comes from WKYC-TV which interviewed Dyshko when she came forward with her story after the Hope Steffy case came to light. According to both sources upon learning about the warrant Dyshko went to the Sheriff's office to "turn herself in." Her reward for law abiding behavior was to be strip searched, dressed in a loose and over-sized dress that frequently exposed her breasts to male deputies, placed on suicide watch for three days, and denied three doses of medication for a serious blood disorder. She also says that male deputies watched her shower.

Dyshko speaks little English. Swanson, couldn't be bothered to find a certified Ukrainian interpreter to assist in questioning. In fact, he admits his office has no policy on interpreters for non-English speaking detainees or prisoners--even though he is required to do so under Federal standards. (Federal Courts have been required to furnish certified interpreters to non-English speakers since 1827. ) Instead, Swanson called on the services of a guard's Ukrainian-speaking mother-in-law. He claims that Dyshko, when asked about her health through the unqualified interpreter, indicated she was suicidal. Dyshko claims when she was asked if she were suicidal she replied, "Why would I want to die? I want to go to my kids."

These antics are SOP for Swanson and his Atlantic Avenue thugs. But it gets better.

Ms. Dyshko and her husband Pavel sued Swanson and the county in Northern Ohio Federal District Court claiming Ms Dyshko's constitutional rights were violated. Swanson argued yahooedly that Dyshko was the first Ukrainian-speaking inmate the jail staff had encountered, and had no reason to doubt the translation.

The decision from the Federal District Court came down a couple days ago. Judge John R. Adams sided with the Dyshkos ruling that a jury could reasonably conclude that Dyshko’s rights were violated and the case can move forward. The decision isn't online yet, but the docket is here. If the decision comes online I Hate Canton will post details.

Swanson long ago showed himself to be a dunce. In case we weren't convinced though, according to Swanson's deposition--which really clinches the award-- quoted in Adam's decision and the Rep in Ukranian Woman Should Get Day in Court Over Botched Translation in Jail:

Referring to the sheriff’s deposition, the judge took aim at what he called Swanson’s “declaration that the occasional foreign-language speaker resembles a space alien whose existence in Stark County does not require his attention or the promulgation of a policy.”

I Hate Canton remembers those days of yore when nobody in Canton seemed to speak English. Many were the days when we rode Canton City Lines with a dozen woeful black-clad and shoed babushkas chattering and evil-eyeing away in Greek, Italian, Syrian, Yiddish--and Ukrainian. If Swanson had called them space aliens, he would have found several witchy cherevyki kicked into where the sun doesn't shine.

For for the good of Stark County, its women, its economy, its, sanity, its immigrants, its visiting international trade delegations, its international visitors to the Football Hall of Fame and Timken Research, and its international students, scholars and visiting artists at the county's colleges, universities, and cultural sites --I Hate Canton believes it is incumbent on us to award Sheriff Tim Swanson the Daily Village Idiot Award for June 5, 2009. Now, if he'd really retire and stay retired.

We miss Babe Stern! Even Butch Grosslaus would do!


Mr. Haney said...

And to think, the Queen Of Outer Space once rode in our Hall Of Fame parade.

mary v parker said...

Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?

hicktown gal said...

I guess our very own Sheriff Twitch ain't so bad after all.