I confuse easily. Today, the local paper found a story from another local paper to put on their front page today. I guess we didn’t have any worthy front-page stories from our county so we took one from the other county. If it was my paper I’d probably but the Delaware County health department economic impact study story on the front page since it is our county’s news, but that’s probably why I’m not the editor. 

I’m confused about the Chester County Sheriff Fredda Maddox story for a couple reasons. Here’s what’s it’s about. 

Maddox has been the Chester County Sheriff for about a year. She’s their first Democratic county sheriff in modern county history and its first Black officeholder. She seems well qualified having served as a former Pennsylvania State Police trooper and member of the state Attorney General’s Office Drug Strike Task Force from 1982 to 2000. She’s also an attorney and worked in private practice in West Chester. (Looks like she’s used to working a couple jobs at once).

There seems to be some issue with her moonlighting (do we still use that term?). She took a job as police chief at Cheyney University about 4-weeks ago and the natives are going crazy because no other sheriff in the county’s recent history had ever worked at a second job with the sort of responsibilities that such a position would entail. (I wonder if there’s ever been a sheriff as qualified to do both jobs).

As a Third Class County Code does not specify how much time a county row officeholder has to devote to his or her position, their sheriff gig is considered a part time job that pays about $66k. The article says there’s nothing illegal with her taking on a second job. 

But, the article keeps referring to her as working two full time jobs. They even digged up her opponent from 2019 who must still be bitter he lost and shared that, “My view when I ran for that position is that it would be a full-time job. My expectation is that anyone else who had the job would treat it the same. I am distraught that this full-time job is not being given full-time attention.” There are no quotes from Maddox as she clearly expected to treat the sheriff position as a part-time job. In fact, the article says she has a deputy on hand to run the day-to-day operations of the Office, so it’s built as a part-time position.

I get even more confused when the article says her entire staff has a second job when they write, ‘most, if not all, of the deputies in the office, have police training and many have part-time jobs as municipal police officers.’

My final confusion revolves around her Cheyney University job that paid about $112k. I don’t know her situation, but if I was being pressured to quit one of the jobs, I’d keep the $112k job and gladly give the $66k job back with a wink and a smile. 

If Chester County wants their sheriff to be a considered a full time position, I’m sure they can put some language on the books that dictates it’s a full time job or some language that forbids the sheriff from taking on other employment. That’s what other companies do that keep you tied to them 24/7. Otherwise, I don’t know why Maddox can’t work both jobs until one or the other employer determines she isn’t performing the duties they require her to do. 

I look around my environment and black women are working two and three jobs on the regular. Why can’t Ms. Maddox do the same?