Grudek says Huffington Post writer twisted his words

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A recent article on a prominent Internet site cast Sheriff Bob Grudek in a negative light, but he told Carroll County News the author completely misrepresented his views.

In an interview last week, the sheriff said a June 16 article on the Huffington Post website described him as blaming the victims of domestic violence. He said no one who knows him would believe that.

"I've lived here 14 years, eight of those years as sheriff," Grudek said. "There should be some kind of history if I am that kind of person."

To reach those who do not know him personally, Grudek requested this interview.

"I'm disappointed that some would form an opinion based on this story," he said.

Melissa Jeltsen wrote about the murder of Laura Aceves on New Year's Eve 2012. Jeltsen said law enforcement and the judicial system failed to protect Aceves from her ex-boyfriend, Victor Acuna-Sanchez, whose abusive relationship with Aceves followed an all-too-familiar pattern.

Acuna-Sanchez is currently awaiting trial for murder, and his jury trial may proceed in October.

When Jeltsen called Grudek, he told her he couldn't comment on the Acuna-Sanchez case, but he spent nearly three hours with her on the phone and in person, discussing domestic violence.

This passage from Jeltsen's story brought Grudek instant notoriety: "The question you're asking me is what's wrong with the courts," he said. "I'm asking you, what's wrong with the women?"

The sheriff put that statement in context for Carroll County News.

"The comment that I made was not to blame women, but to ask why they go back," Grudek said, and he explained that he brought that up as part of the discussion of all the factors that contribute to the problem of domestic abuse.

"She clearly blamed law enforcement, and I said, 'You want a simple solution to a complex problem,'" the sheriff said.

He explained that "fear, finances, or forgiveness" can make a woman return to an abusive situation, regardless of the best efforts of counselors or law enforcement.

Jeltsen wrote that Grudek "shared his perspective on the problem of domestic violence, which he said he formulated by watching Dr. Phil."

The sheriff said this comment clearly demonstrates the author's bias; he mentioned Dr. Phil while talking about all the ways people try to raise awareness of this issue. Grudek said he has had personal experience with domestic abuse, from an early age. His older sister remained too long in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic, and although she eventually divorced him, "It was sad to see the black eyes and bruises," Grudek said.

The sheriff said he had received phone calls from across the country, chastising him for the comments in the article. He said once he explained his true feelings to the callers, they looked at him differently, and two women wrote emails to Jeltsen complaining about the way the article presented Grudek.

"If you really want to do something to help women, we need a shelter," he said.

Communication between judges and law enforcement needs improvement, clearly, and that was a factor in Aceves' death. Other areas of the country are developing systems to assess the danger in a particular situation, so that judges can set an appropriate bond.

Although Carroll County does not have a shelter, Grudek said victims of domestic abuse are treated "with utmost respect and sensitivity" here.

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  • The sheriff is making the situation much worse. I, for one, am deeply concerned when a law professional uses Dr. Phil as a guide to understand domestic violence. Officers should receive special training on DV-a nationwide problem. It is my hope that the next administration steps up and makes this a platform. No More--DV will not be tolerated on any scale. Women make up half of this county and we need protection. It is a sad state, when in the year 2014, we are discussing basic human kindness-respect-and care. Yes we need a shelter-agreed. We also need people in place that are educated and are willing and able to meet the needs of the women in this county. We will never forget Laura. Ever.

    -- Posted by Judy54 on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 10:22 AM
  • You have completely missed the point Judy54. The point being that the writer of the article mislead her readers, and did not comment on the actions and caring of law enforcement officers as a whole when it comes to domestic violence. Police officers see this type of crime all the time and do the best they can only to find out later that the victim returns to their abuser time and time again. It's not the law enforcement officer's fault, yet they become the scapegoat. Education is the key. Education of the victims of domestic violence, and the court systems, not the police officers that are on the front lines.

    -- Posted by okaybut on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 11:29 AM
  • Well said okaybut

    -- Posted by Seriously people on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 12:06 PM
  • Actually, the point here is Grudek is trying to save face with the pending election!!

    -- Posted by CarrollCountyPoster on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 12:29 PM
  • American Psychiatric Association offers plenty of information concerning domestic abuse/violence.

    In addition, there are many more resources that challenge the problem of domestic violence. Here is just one:

    Education is key to ending the violence. I have to agree, Bob Grudek was misquoted. The law enforcement people did their job, and that was to arrest Victor. The judges, David Clinger and Scott Jackson let him out of jail. Both judges had complete information about the perp; arrest records, previous charges and convictions, protection orders, etc. at the time they signed off letting him out of jail. And still, both of them let him out of jail anyway! Your chastising the wrong man.

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 1:20 PM
  • Every time my daugther was beat up the officers will tell us she needs to stay away, I responded more them ones she is trying but even in my house he broke in and beat her up in front of the kids it was a horrible situation. what huffington post did was only repeat there own words but as usual they point fingers at each other.the reporter interview me after she talked to Sheriff's and she was shocked with his response knowing it was going to be published. They have to fix the system or more victims will suffer .

    -- Posted by najowe on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 2:34 PM
  • I am so sorry for your horrible loss najowe...

    -- Posted by CarrollCountyPoster on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 2:55 PM
  • Carroll County's entire criminal justice system fails--over and over. The lack of communication between law enforcement and prosecutors is horrible. Everyone involved should be responsible. But: let's stop blaming and have the sheriff, judges, and prosecutors DESCRIBE how they are going to prevent it from happening again!

    -- Posted by RoseO on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 3:32 PM
  • It's a shame this young lady died and questions still are being hurled around as to the actions of the Judge Jackson, the sheriff's dept., and

    other circumstances pretaining to women.

    This isn't the first time I have heard a politician yell---"MISQUOTED". Who knows,

    the question is whom to believe, the Sheriff or

    a reporter?

    Think about this. The Sheriff called in a local reporter to dispute the story by a female reporter. Ironic?

    -- Posted by NOWALKS on Thu, Jul 10, 2014, at 3:54 PM
  • Yes, a female reporter from NY who only wanted to make a name for herself and already had a agenda to blame law enforcement. I'll tell you this; Liberal judges and prosecutors have to go. That's all there is to it. How many times have you seen the cops do their job, only to have a liberal prosecutor and judge turn the criminals loose? What do we have now? the most liberal prosecutor and judge in Carroll County history. When Scott Jackson takes the circuit court bench in January, all the criminals will be dancing in the streets. The prosecutor, Tony Rogers, what a joke.

    -- Posted by okaybut on Fri, Jul 11, 2014, at 12:27 PM
  • Facts are...Sheriff arrested, Berryville arrested, Judge Clinger let him out, Judge Jackson let him out. How simple can that be?

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Sat, Jul 12, 2014, at 7:21 PM
  • Okaybut & rockpilefarmer has it correct..deputies arrest these losers & then the judge sets them free but then the sheriffs office gets the blame

    -- Posted by Seriously people on Sun, Jul 13, 2014, at 5:56 AM
  • I agree that Scott Jackson let the entire thing happen---and I do believe he knew his record, but let him go anyway. The sheriff and the judge don't care about women. What ever has become of the Judy Mcmillian murder? Still under investigation? It's been 2 years. Those are the facts as well.

    -- Posted by Judy54 on Mon, Jul 14, 2014, at 11:55 AM
  • You're almost there Judy54, except where you say the Sheriff and the judge don't care. Leave off the Sheriff, and you got it right. As for the McMillian murder, that's a different story, that's a who done it?

    -- Posted by okaybut on Mon, Jul 14, 2014, at 3:23 PM
  • Judy54 must not know Bob Grudek personally. I do. There is not a single shred of truth to the statement that "Bob Grudek doesn't care about women."

    -- Posted by rockpilefarmer on Fri, Jul 18, 2014, at 6:50 AM
  • They ALL knew his record. He was also supposed to report twice a week to probation as well and missed the boat on that too. At least Judge Clinger ordered the boy supervised twice a week. But probation said they didn't know about it and the kid never came in one single time. Who dropped that ball? It's not all Judge Jackson's fault. I can't wait till Randy Mayfield is Sheriff and cleans this crooked county up. He is a good man. Better than Grudek, that's for sure. I've met Grudek. He's not all that. He is just another politician. We need a cop for a sheriff. A working Sheriff for a change.

    -- Posted by CarrollCountyPoster on Sat, Jul 19, 2014, at 10:28 PM
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