NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - One Frontier County resident is wanting long-time Sheriff Dan Rupp removed from his elected office. To achieve that, he submitted a petition with the Frontier County Clerk in Stockville. Alen Reitz is a resident of Curtis in Frontier County, and the organizer of the petition. Reitz told News 2 he is picking up the petition on Friday, May 21, and working with at least 14 volunteers on a plan to circulate the petition throughout the county.
Reitz said he may sit at the Curtis City Park and let people sign, but certainly, he and volunteers would be going door-to-door to get the at least 312 necessary signatures needed for the petition to proceed to a special election to recall or retain the sheriff.
Sheriff Rupp explains that the number is arrived at by calculating a percentage of persons who voted in the last election. He is concerned that not many people turned out at the last election due to a uneventful ballot. And he is afraid that the cost of a special election if enough votes warrant would cost tax payers in excess of $10,000. That would be the next step in the recall process if enough signatures are garnered.
Reitz and a following of supporters gathering on a Facebook site say they have many reasons to remove the sheriff who has served in some legal capacity for almost forty years in Frontier County, nearly thirty of those years as the elected sheriff.
Sheriff Rupp said that other departments across the area, and the nation, are seeing the same problem with turnover and finding people to hire. He added that it “is not popular to be a cop right now.” He used Red Willow as an example, saying that county is currently down three deputies.
Both Sheriff Rupp and Reitz provided answers to the petition, in reason and defense, and both men published an article in the local newspaper. Sheriff Rupp says the information against him is false and without merit, adding he has always striven to be fair and honest to the best of his ability.
Reitz says he has dealt with the Frontier County Sheriff and Jail in a personal matter and has no personal grudge.
Reitz added in an interview with News 2 that people should decide for themselves and registered voters can choose to sign, or not sign, the petition when it comes around.