Jeff Christopher

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It could be a write-in campaign for Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher who lost to Robert Lee in his reelection bid by 21 votes in this week’s primary elections.

The manual count of the absentee ballots yesterday did not change the outcome.

Lee and Christopher were both on hand as election workers tallied up the 479 votes.

Christopher said that he was considering a write-in effort if Lee won the Republican primary.

He said he was getting phone calls from people urging to him to do so.

sussexcountyde.gov

Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher is almost out of office.

The Department of elections will hold a recount this morning since he lost to Robert Lee by only 21 votes in this week’s election.  

Kenneth McDowell, director of the Sussex county Election Department, told WBOC that results have never been overturned by a recount.

Only absentee ballots will be counted since the regular votes are cast by computer.

There are 479.

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The results from the Delaware primary are in with a couple of upsets in Sussex County.

Ken Simpler Wins GOP Treasurer Primary

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Financial executive Ken Simpler has won Delaware's Republican primary for state treasurer.

Simpler defeated Milford businesswoman Sher Valenzuela in Tuesday's primary.

He advances to take on Democrat Sean Barney in November.

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Despite a clash with the state legislature and the governor Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher says he intends to file his re-election papers for a second term.   

The Greenwood Republican tangled with state officials by filing a lawsuit over whether a sheriff in Delaware has the power to arrest people.  

After Christopher took office the General Assembly approved a bill that explicitly denied arrest powers to sheriffs in the state.

Instead, they can only perform such duties as serving subpoenas and other papers for the courts.

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It was a defiant Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher when he heard the news that the Delaware State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he did not have the power to make arrests.

Christopher said his suit was structured to be directly linked to the federal system and was contemplating an appeal in federal courts.

The embattled sheriff told the Salisbury Daily Times that he has been getting strong public support in Sussex County.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that sheriffs in Delaware do not have police powers.

In a 26-page opinion released Monday, the justices affirmed a March ruling by a Superior Court judge upholding the constitutionality of a bill passed by state lawmakers that bars sheriffs and their deputies from making arrests.

Sussex County sheriff Jeff Christopher argued that lawmakers exceeded their authority and that they could not limit the power of sheriffs in such a drastic fashion without passing a constitutional amendment.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Supreme Court is considering whether sheriffs in Delaware have the authority to arrest people.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday in an appeal by the Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher, who argues that he is embodied with police powers by Delaware's constitution because it names sheriffs, along with other officials, as "conservators of the peace."

State and county officials disagree, however, prompting a legal battle over the role of sheriffs in Delaware's three counties.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court says it will hear oral arguments in an appeal by the Sussex County sheriff of a court ruling that Delaware sheriffs do not have police powers.

In a letter to attorneys late last week, the court said all five justices will hear arguments on Sept. 11. Sheriff Jeff Christopher argues that he is embodied with police powers by Delaware's constitution, which names sheriffs, along with other officials, as "conservators of the peace."

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Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher is appealing a court decision that rejected his claim that the Delaware state constitution gives him arrest powers.

He wants the state Supreme Court to reverse a Superior Court ruling that refused to call him a law enforcement officer.

Christopher told the Wilmington News Journal that he is confident the state’s high court will give the issue more scrutiny.

sussexcountyde.gov

Delaware superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves says the state constitution does not give county sheriffs police powers.

Yesterday’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher against state and county officials.

Graves said that the courts have used common law to define such powers and agreed with attorneys for the county and state that the General Assembly had the right to bar sheriffs and their deputies from making arrests.

Sheriff Trinidad Navarro, ncde.org

The New Castle County Council is resisting the proposal to make the county sheriffs and deputies constables.

The proposal has been made by Sheriff Trinidad Navarro who assured the Council that it would not change the basic function of his force.

Governor Jack Markell signed a law that made it clear county sheriffs and deputies did not have arrest powers.

But The Wilmington News Journal reports that Navarro’s request comes in the wake of a dispute in Sussex County where Sheriff Jeff Christopher wants law enforcement powers.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's state Senate is ready to vote on legislation asserting that county sheriffs and their deputies do not have arrest powers.

The bill, which passed the House overwhelmingly last month and is on the Senate agenda Thursday, is a response to recent actions by the Sussex County sheriff.

Sheriff Jeff Christopher argues that as "conservators of the peace" under Delaware's constitution of 1897, sheriffs are law enforcement officers with the authority to arrest people and make traffic stops.

The Delaware Senate is now set to get legislation that could quell the fierce dispute over the powers of the Sheriff’s office in Sussex County.

The measure would clearly establish that the state’s Sheriffs do not have the authority to investigate crime or make arrests.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the House version of the bill easily got out of the Senate Executive Committee and should be heard on the Senate floor sometime next week.

Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher claims that he has those powers under the state Constitution.

 

 

Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher filed suit yesterday against county officials in Superior court alleging that they were attempting to unlawfully strip him of his constitutional right to arrest people.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the court action comes just hours before legislation that makes it clear sheriffs do not have the power to make arrests made it out of committee.