Q&A: Questions for the candidates for Mohave County Sheriff

What qualifies you to oversee the Mohave County Adult Detention Center? (With an average of 500 inmates per day, the jail takes more than 50 percent of the sheriff's $22 million budget.)

• Doug Schuster: "I worked in the jail. I have more than 360 hours of training and I'm certified. I'm well-versed in operations. This is not a matter of giving information that might not be perfect. I am the sheriff's office. It's all I know."

• Cori Merryman: "Primarily, my executive leadership skills. I manage 600 accounts at our factory. I'd like to take my management and leadership skills to the sheriff's office. I am a successful business owner and I'm creative and sustain stability with my employees. Bridging communications between sheriff's office and jail employees is vital and maintaining a budget at the Mohave County jail would be no different than managing my multimillion-dollar company."

• John Plough: "I believe in beans and rice and green baloney."

• Joe Archie: "I was in charge of the Lake Havasu jail and I know you have to provide inmates with 2,400 calories per day, and give inmates time out of cells."

• John Gillette: "There are federal guidelines for prisoners. I ran an 800-prisoner facility. They were all terrorists. I will find a qualified expert to run the jail."

What do you know about search and rescue, rivers and lakes, K-9, and investigations?

• Gillette: "Once again, I'd find the right person to handle it. My river experience is with (military) Swift boats. I can shoot from a boat and kill a bad guy, but I don't know about boats. I'm not a boat guy."

• Archie: "We need at least one K-9 in every area, that's three or four. I've never been involved in search and rescue."

• Plough: "I have two dogs. Some of these questions, I don't know if they address the issue. Sheriff is an administrative office. J. Edgar Hoover never made an arrest in his life. He had no experience, he was a lawyer, but he started the FBI and ran it until he died. The MCSO is not as big as the FBI, but I promise you I won't wear a dress like J. Edgar Hoover did."

• Merryman: "K-9 is not funded by the MCSO. We use grants and raise funds and this is not a program we can afford to lose. I was a street deputy and did my own criminal investigations. Almost every shift I patrolled waterways."

• Schuster: "We're being pressured (to answer questions) in one minute. K-9, most every officer has dealt with K-9, so we don't get hurt or interfere with what they're doing. I want to fund K-9, but we're running shorthanded in boats and patrol. Where do we draw the line?"

Have you ever been on the other side of the law?

• Schuster: "As an 18-year-old I got in a fight with another boy. I was charged with disorderly conduct. This actually helped me. It taught me it was time to grow up."

• Merryman: "We all have a past, but I've never been arrested."

• Plough: "Finally, a question I can answer. No, I'm squeaky clean. If you took all the Boy Scouts in the world and compressed them into a bag, that's me."

• Archie: "I'm also squeaky clean, but I have gotten quite a few speeding tickets. I rodeoed for decades."

• Gillette: "I've been a gearhead all my life and have gotten a few speeding tickets. I did have a run-in (as a teenager) with a neighbor who was an Illinois trooper. I used to run my car engine and he worked graveyards. He grabbed me, threw me to the ground and said he'd tell my dad if I ever did that during the daytime again. It turned into a positive experience. He eventually became my boss."

Would you enforce a presidential order to confiscate guns?

Everybody: No.