FORT LARAMIE – Community members gathered at the Fort Laramie Community Center on Sunday for a town hall led by sheriff candidate Tony Goulart.
The reason Goulart is running for sheriff stemmed from the events in 2020 which he said featured violations of citizens’ rights “which we had never seen before.”
Goulart said he and a group of others addressed the issues with current sheriff and Goulart’s opponent Kory Fleenor who told them the governor was giving him pressure and they could file a lawsuit. Goulart said going to an attorney to keep their rights than they don’t have them to begin with.
Goulart also talked about how the sheriff has the most authority in the county.
“The only individual that has more authority than a county sheriff… is Jesus Christ,” he said. “And even Jesus Christ would probably check in with the sheriff before doing business in the county because he’s the one that put him there.”
While his opponent has the advantage in terms of law enforcement experience with 23 years compared to Goulart’s zero, he added it is important for private citizens to stand up and make a difference.
“If experience is the ingredient and the recipe to guarantee success, what went wrong,” Goulart said.
The position of sheriff is unique in comparison to a police chief because the sheriff’s position is elected by the people rather than appointed. Goulart said the sheriff answers directly to the people.
In terms of plans if elected, Goulart said one of his top priorities is to train his replacement. Goulart said there is not enough training on the constitution for deputies and said he would enforce the importance of it as sheriff. Goulart said he doesn’t need to interpret the constitution and stated he just needs to follow the rules.
Along with training deputies in the constitution, Goulart said he will also invite interested members of the community as well.
“From what I’m seeing I don’t have a complete grip on the culture on that sheriff’s office right now but I think that this would be a dramatic culture change for them that they have not experienced,” Goulart said. “They need to understand why they are constitutional officers.”
In terms of the ongoing staffing shortages, Goulart said one fix would be to bring back the sheriff’s posse which included people who will assist when additional help is needed such as traffic control during accidents.
The town hall in Fort Laramie was one of multiple events Goulart has planned leading up to the election. His next town hall will be in LaGrange on June 12 at 6 p.m.
The primary election will be Tuesday, Aug 16.