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Sheriff's race pits newcomer vs. incumbent

May 16, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A political newcomer is challenging Franklin County Sheriff Robert B. Wollyung in Tuesday's primary, but Terry L. Monn said his candidacy has nothing to do with an attempt to revoke his pistol permit four years ago.

"This is certainly not a spite issue. I think I'm the better man for the job," Monn, 34, of 3016 Anthony Highway, said Sunday. He and Wollyung are both running for the Republican nomination Tuesday.

There is no Democratic candidate for sheriff in the primary.

Wollyung, 59, of 725 Stouffer Ave., is running for a third term as county sheriff, a job that includes courthouse security, transporting prisoners and issuing bench warrants, among other duties.

"I'm still enthusiastic about the job. ... I still have a lot to give the community," Wollyung said.

Unlike Wollyung, who was elected after serving 29 years with the Pennsylvania State Police, Monn has no law enforcement background.

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"I believe the department needs a change in there along the lines of public relations, ... more involvement with the community," said Monn, a physical therapy student who has taken a semester off to run for office.

Monn said there is no requirement for a law enforcement background to run for sheriff, but he plans to take law enforcement courses offered through Shippensburg University and get the required firearms certification if he is elected.

Both men said courthouse security is high on their agendas.

Wollyung and Monn both said they want to move the courthouse metal detector from the third floor, where the courtrooms are located, to the first floor.

"That's going to take the understanding and cooperation of the county commissioners and the rest of the employees," Wollyung said. County employee identification cards could be issued to prevent a logjam of people lined up to go through security at the courthouse entrances, he said.

Wollyung said his office has computerized the handgun permit system and he wants to see photographs added to the permits in the future.

Monn said he wants to reduce the pistol permits from the size of index cards to the size of a driver's license so they can be more easily carried. He also wants the permits to include information about where a firearm can and cannot be carried.

It was in August 1995 that Monn said the Sheriff's Office revoked his permit after he came to the courthouse carrying a .25-caliber automatic pistol in his back pocket.

Monn said he went to the courthouse to speak with a paralegal and checked the pistol with a deputy. He said it was confiscated and the handgun permit revoked, although the weapon was later returned.

At the time, Monn said there was no law against carrying a handgun in a courthouse. Monn appealed the revocation and the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in his favor, he said.

Monn said Wollyung's office later dropped a second effort to revoke his permit that cited "poor judgment" in his bringing the weapon to the courthouse.

related stories:

-- Commissioner race heats up in Franklin Co.

-- Three vie for Franklin Co. coroner's post

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