Some readers seem to think we were out of bounds in Wednesday’s The Daily Mail by reporting on former Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley’s association with the Oath Keepers. Others praised the story for detailing what they described as feeble comments from county lawmakers supporting his association with the group. This, friends, is known as unbiased reporting.
With the pervasive influence of the internet, daily life has undergone enormous changes. Nothing is truly private, not even Seeley’s recognition by a far-right militia organization linked to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In other words, Seeley’s association with the group is not the issue. It’s a problem because he was involved while he was sheriff.
That’s the astonishing part of the story. It’s also something of an embarrassment for Greene County to have its top lawman be associated with a group whose members stormed the Capitol. We can’t help but ask an explicit question: Would Seeley have been one of the insurrectionists or would he do all he could to stop them? County officials interviewed for the story did not come close to addressing it.
In this country, the oath of office requires a sheriff to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state wherein he is elected, and will faithfully discharge all of the duties of the office of sheriff to the best of his ability.”
The key phrase here is “Constitution and laws.” The Jan. 6 insurrection clearly violated the law and defied constitutional authority. That Seeley declined to respond to multiple calls for comment is not surprising, but it doesn’t provide any clues to the answers the public needs to hear. Equally inferior is the failure of Seeley’s bosses on the Greene County Legislature to demand an explanation, criticize or even denounce his association with this group.
This proves transparency in Greene County has a long way to go.