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A hat in the ring as Sheriff Hedges declines another run 

Just days after Sheriff Patrick Hedges announced he would not seek reelection to the seat, a prominent local officer was expected to announce his bid for the post in the 2010 election.

Longtime SLO Police Captain Ian Parkinson was expected to announce his candidacy at an 11 a.m. press conference March 12 at the County Government Center in SLO, according to a representative.

Parkinson, 46, has been with the SLO Police Department since 1988, and has since been involved in nearly every aspect of law enforcement, according to a spokesman.

Parkinson may be the first to officially throw his hat into the ring, but rumors have been circling for months that former county supervisor Jerry Lenthall and Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President Dale Strobridge may also run for the post.

First elected in 1998, Hedges has found himself at the center of multiple controversies recently, including an investigation by the State Attorney General’s Office over the wiretapping of his Chief Deputy Gary Hoving, and the concurrent lawsuit filed by Hoving against the county. That lawsuit ended up costing the county more than $600,000.

In related news, that cost is just one of many expenses tallied on a new website launched in recent days called recallsheriffhedges.com. The site has compiled several public documents, including papers from Hoving’s suit, and a top ten list of reasons to give him the boot.

Whether it’s simply an outlet for complaints or a genuine attempt to recall Hedges, less than two years before his term expires, is unclear. Its author is unknown.

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