Ever since Brian Trainor entered the race for district attorney for St. Tammany and Washington parishes, critics and opponents have tried to portray him as too close to Sheriff Jack Strain, for whom Trainor has worked for the last four years.
None have done so more, er, creatively than Trainor’s runoff opponent Warren Montgomery, who called Trainor “The Dark Knight” in a comedic short video posted to YouTube. In the video, Strain is referred to as “the Sheriff of Rottingham” and his top lieutenants are called “the princes of pork.” Unfortunately, the video is no longer available.
Asked about it last week, Montgomery said he hadn’t created the Monty Pythonesque animation, but that he had approved it and thought it was funny. He added that though the race for district attorney was “serious,” it shouldn’t mean the candidates should take themselves too seriously.
But at least one person isn’t laughing — Jack Strain. And he recently made his feelings public.
The Sheriff, who has backed Trainor from the beginning and even filmed a commercial touting his chief deputy’s qualifications for the office, had an indignant letter posted to the St. Tammany Deputy Sheriff’s Association Facebook page Friday, calling the video “shamefully childish, personally offensive and a direct insult” to the men and women who work in the Sheriff’s Office.
“Our criminal justice system is a serious matter, deserving of thoughtful, intelligent debate,” Strain wrote. He encouraged deputies to take that into account when they entered the voting booth.
“Remember how one candidate disparages the work you do, and how another prides himself on having been a part of it. Remember how one ridicules our agency, and how another has worn our badge with the same sense of honor that you hold so dear. Remember how one mocks our entire judicial system, while the other knows it is the very foundation of our security,” Strain says.
Strain concludes by urging those who read the letter to let others know they feel about the election.
The letter, or at least the sentiment behind it, may have had some effect. Montgomery had already taken the video down from YouTube by Friday afternoon.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter @faimon.