Law officers drop ball in Frye hiringsPublished 12:05am Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Sheriffs in Mississippi are tantamount to gods in their respective counties. As the highest law enforcement officer in the county, they’re rarely questioned.
But perhaps the state needs to require a little more oversight of sheriffs. Ditto for the Louisiana department of corrections, too.
A simple requirement — a criminal background check — may have prevented something dirty from going on in Jefferson and Wilkinson counties and West Feliciana Parish.
We know Roderick Frye pleaded guilty to killing a teenager when Frye himself was barely a teen. Despite his youth, that conviction made Frye a convicted felon.
We also know Frye wound up working for the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office — ironically the very agency that handled Frye’s manslaughter arrest and conviction.
What we don’t know is how that was allowed to occur.
Frye was recently charged in Louisiana with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and falsifying public records.
But shouldn’t someone — at any of the three agencies, each entrusted by the public to uphold the law — realize that Frye’s criminal background should disqualify him from employment in the justice system?
In Mississippi, the state agency responsible for verifying whether or not a law officer meets state requirements alleges that the hiring agency is responsible for doing background checks.
In this case, Mississippi appears to be 0-for-2, and Louisiana is 0-for-1. Clearly, something is wrong here if both states thought Frye was the right man to protect the public.