KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even though the primary election is next week, whomever wins the race for sheriff in both Cass and Jackson counties will win the office.
Jackson County voters will decide between current Sheriff Darryl Forte’ and former Sheriff Mike Sharp.
Sharp said he’s not worried about past controversies impacting this election.
“When I first went out there, there were naysayers. But now those same naysayers have got a ‘Sharp for Sheriff’ sign in their yard,” Sharp said.
Sharp stepped down in 2018 after allegations surfaced of an ongoing relationship with a female employee. He allegedly used taxpayer money to give her financial support and take professional and personal trips.
The lawsuit was later dropped. Now Sharp wants his old job back.
“When your peers endorse you and they know that you did a good job and they won’t have anything to do with the current leadership that speaks volumes,” Sharp said.
Sharp has endorsements from both the Fraternal Order of Police and from the regional FOP organization. But current Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte’ said he’s OK with that.
“I didn’t seek their endorsement because I understand that culture. I didn’t want to be beholding to anyone else. I want to do what’s right for everyone,” Forte said.
Forte’ was sworn in as Jackson County sheriff in 2018.
Forte’ said during that time, he’s given over 30 disciplinary actions to non-supervisory employees and has suspended five supervisors for serious policy violations.
“The community’s screaming reform. The community is screaming over and over ‘accountability’, transparency, integrity. That’s what we have to have and I set the tone as the leader,” Forte’ said.