Originally created 04/28/01

A nonsensical claim

Aiken County Sheriff Howard Sellers' contention that his health is nobody's business but his own, unless it affects his ability to do his job, is utter nonsense.

Sellers tried to keep secret the non-cancerous abdominal surgery he underwent at Aiken Regional Medical Centers April 12, which hospitalized him for nearly a week. But, as it will, word leaked out.

He has been absent from his office since the operation and looked none too strong, particularly for a man who has also had heart problems in the past, when he needed an escort to attend a funeral. A press spokesman says it will be another two to three weeks before the sheriff will be back full time.

Of course, all these health problems affect Sellers' ability to do his job. A person always works better when healthy than when sick. It's up to the public - not the sheriff - to evaluate whether he's capable of fulfilling his duties, but they can't do that unless he comes clean about his health.

Aiken Countians have a right to know if their sheriff, their highest elected local official, is in condition to take charge if a catastrophe struck the community, or Cincinnati-style civil unrest broke out.

Sellers knows if this were an election year there's no way he could claim his health is not the public's business. Just because this is not an election year doesn't give him license to hide his medical problems.

Everyone wishes the sheriff a speedy and complete recovery, but if he's not candid about his health when he's ill, will he be believed when he says he's healthy?


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