Morales endorses Phibbs |

Morales endorses Phibbs


SILVERTHORNE – Summit County sheriff candidate Mike Phibbs is still his former boss’ strong pick to win the GOP primary Aug. 10Former Summit sheriff Joe Morales took the opportunity of a Phibbs candidate’s reception Monday to affirm his endorsement of his former jail captain. Morales, a popular sheriff who resigned last year to accept an appointment by Gov. Bill Owens to head the state’s Department of Public Safety, spoke about his trust in Phibbs as a Sheriff’s Office employee.

“I truly trust him; we worked very closely together,” Morales said at a reception held at the Silverthorne home of Ed and Carole McVaney. Morales, who worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 23 years, said he chose Phibbs as jail commander because of his potential as a leader and manager.”I started grooming (Phibbs) years ago when I saw his potential,” Morales said.Sitting Sheriff John Minor fired Phibbs earlier this year in the political fallout from Minor’s appointment by the Board of County Commissioners.

Minor and Phibbs, both Republicans, are facing off in the Aug. 2 balloting. The winner will not likely be challenged in November as no Democrats have declared for the office.Phibbs was one of three candidates who wanted to fill Morales’ vacancy. Besides Minor, the Sheriff’s Capt. Derek Woodman also applied.Morales was disappointed in the decision.In a controversial move that was not fully explained, Minor fired Phibbs shortly after his appointment.

Both declined comment on that issue, citing personnel issues.About 50 people attended Monday’s reception. Phibbs took the opportunity to outline his educational experience, which includes a master’s degree in police executive leadership. He also outlined plans to diversify the staff, encourage retention among sheriff’s employees and use new technology to trim expenses.

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