Gail Wilcox was fired for the relationship she had with Tony Perry, but so far Perry has gone relatively unscathed. After the relationship was made public, Perry stepped down from his post as executive director of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, but not from his other role as a sergeant.
Perry announced his resignation from the DSA in a letter to union members. In the letter he said he regretted the negative media attention brought by his relationship with former deputy county administrator Wilcox and “after much reflection and upon the request of my wife, I will retire from DSA service.” He denied any wrongdoing and said the relationship never interfered with labor negotiations between the DSA and county.
“Both the county and the DSA continued to be represented professionally during labor relation issues without exception, without compromise,” he said.
County documents tell a different story. In response to Wilcox’s allegations of sexual harassment, county officials hired attorney Sarah Robertson to investigate both Wilcox and former county administrator David Edge, whom she claims pried into her personal and sex life for 11 years. The report detailed an on-again-off-again sexual relationship between Wilcox and Perry while the two were negotiating new salary and benefits for DSA members. Wilcox—an “at will” employee—was fired on July 14 because of the conflict of interest resulting from her relationship with Perry.
As for Perry, there’s been no talk of action against him and the response from the Sheriff’s Department has been mild compared to the county’s actions against Wilcox. Department spokesman Rob Bryn said only that Sheriff Pat Hedges has been in contact with county attorneys and he’s reviewing the Robertson report.
County Counsel Warren Jensen said his office provided the sheriff with audio recordings of interviews Robertson conducted during her investigation. “It’s up to them what they do with that,” he added.
Perry could not be reached for comment and DSA President Dale Strobridge did not immediately return a call for comment.
Meanwhile, sworn deputies in the DSA are still attempting to split into a new union.