[The Herald-News, Eric Ginnard]
The sheriff’s campaign had a ready-made issue with the high-profile homicide of toddler Sema’j Crosby in April 2017 still unsolved. Reilly did make the Crosby case an issue.
But Kelley disputed Reilly’s claim that the sheriff’s office had subpar results in solving homicides. He said the office had solved 64 percent of its cases in the past four years compared with a national average of 46 percent.
The intensity of Reilly’s criticism at one point brought out a response from leaders in the sheriff’s unions, which had endorsed Kelley.
For his part, Reilly said his criticism was directed at the sheriff and not at the rank and file.
Kelley was first elected in 2014 after former Sheriff Paul Kaupas had retired.
A 30-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, Kelley had pointed to accomplishments as sheriff that included the return of a K-9 unit to assist in drug investigations and improved protection of evidence.