The Inside Story: New sheriff candidate emerges; Lt. Roundtree admits 'mistakes'

John Ivey
Lt. John Ivey says he's running for office of Richmond County sheriff as well. (WRDW-TV / March 14, 2012)
By  | 

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A more than 30-year law enforcement veteran announced his intentions to run for Richmond County sheriff Wednesday.

Lt. John Ivey joins Cpt. Scott Peebles and Lt. Richard Roundtree in the race for top cop.

He made the big announcement on News 12's radio segment this morning on 96.3 Kiss FM with Fattz and Cher.

Ivey could become the first African-American sheriff of Richmond County.

"I want to be sheriff," he said. "It just so happens that I'm black."

Ivey said he is more focused on tackling an office he feels is too reactive.

"If you call," Ivey said, "we come. But I'll try to change that. Instead of you call I come, we'll be right there all along [through community policing]."

Roundtree said he also wants to be the next top cop.

"Was that a surprise to you?" we asked Roundtree. "Another African-American candidate throwing his hat in the ring?"

"No. It actually wasn't a surprise," Roundtree replied. "Nothing in politics surprises me."

He was prepared for our next question about so-called negligence that led to his demotion and five-day suspension back in 2008. Someone cleaning up his empty Augusta apartment found seven case files belonging to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. It was a department violation but was not a criminal offense. There were also alleged inappropriate relationships with female co-workers.

"I've made mistakes in my life. I have learned from those mistakes," Roundtree said. "I've grown from those mistakes, and I've become a better person by it. I can't put myself above the citizens that I serve."

Peebles is also running for sheriff. He joined us for the Inside Story.

"Are you jamming with us this morning?" we asked Peebles as music played in the background. "I'm jamming with you. Good morning everybody."

Peebles is just off a major operation that snagged dozens of guns and burglars. Operation Smoke Screen was the latest in a string of undercover stings.

"I think that those operations show that I'm somebody who can think outside the box," Peebles said. "[I am someone] who can address a problem and get some results."

There was one person absent from the discussion. Lt. Robbie Silas is sheriff Ronnie Strength's brother-in-law. Silas is also considering a run for the office.

Roundtree will make his official announcement Thursday morning at 10 a.m. He will make that announcement at Beulah Grove Baptist church. Ivey says he will make his announcement Friday at 10 a.m. at the Augusta Municipal building.

Peebles made his announced Monday on the steps of the Augusta Judicial Center.