Sheriff Porter 36
I went home and put all of Dog’s toys in a box. I had spent a lot of money between the vet and improvements to my place for Dog, but you know I didn’t feel bad or let down about it. I had saved him and he was worth saving. Like me Dog just got re purposed. He was going to another place. They might ask him to risk his life, but he would be doing something worthwhile. I knew exactly how that felt and I had never been more alive then when I had it all hanging out there.
So I missed Dog, but I knew he was going to be having more of a life with the church camp guys. With me he was caged. Sure it was a silk lined cage and it was well padded, but a cage is still a cage. I had uncaged Dog and felt better for it, but I also began to realize I had built myself a cage. It looked as though I was going to have to find a way to live inside my cage. Unlike Dog I wouldn’t have anyone to rescue me from the boredom.
Traffic stops and domestic calls kept me in business, but they didn’t keep my mind occupied. I was well into my second year and the political bullshit was already starting. The consensus was I would run unopposed should I decide to do it again. Everyone assumed I would run, but I wasn’t so sure.
Because I had infused the gray money into my finances in a smart way, I had more than enough money even without the pension I had lost when I went back into law enforcement. The gray money was gone but I had a hell of a healthy bank account and it was growing.
It was growing because I had invested a lot of it in the local people. My most recent purchase had been the bakery that had gone under on the square. I took over the bakery’s lease on the building and the payments on the equipment.
I had neither the time nor the desire to run a bakery, so I rehired the baker and his wife. I reset their menu board and reopened the small bakery as ‘The Cop Out Donut Shoppe’. That project took a month of my spare time. Then another month of expecting it to go broke at any moment.
The donut shop and bakery began to take on custom orders. Everything from the local tourist B&B’s Continental Breakfast orders, to fancy wedding cakes, our guys did it all. After three more months of heavy promotions, the bakery was a very profitable business. The previous owners had put together a consortium of family friends and wanted to buy me out. Their offer was based on what I had in it and what I had spent with very little extra for my work in promoting the shop. I was forced to refuse.
“If you refuse we will be force to quit and open another bakery,” the husband said to me. He said it while sitting in the shop’s small two table dining area. Of course his English wasn’t that good so I am paraphrasing.
“That’s up to you of course. I will be sorry to see you go,” I said and stood to leave.
“You sell us part of the business?” he asked.
“When I took over this bakery you were bleeding money and about to have your credit ruined. I caught up your bills so you didn’t lose everything. I met with the new customers and they placed the orders that kept it open. I placed the advertising that brought in the party orders, which made us the money to make the business valuable, and you offer me only the money I invested. You have insulted me. You placed no value on the work that I have done to make this a valuable business,” I said it angrily.
“If you can no longer work here, I will understand. You must understand this, If you get an independent appraisal of the value, we will talk again.”
The offer to talk a second time was so that I could interview bakers. I wasn’t into to cut throat business, but this was just survival 101.
I was right in the middle of being sheriff when the donut shop came up again. They burst through the door with guns drawn, “Sheriff Porter would you stand please and put your hands on your head.”
“Nice to see you again Agent Morris. I guess I am to assume that I am now under arrest for something or other. Would you like to tell me, or are you going to put a black bag over my head.”
I was being flip but my mind was racing. First I had to call Rita, then I had to figure out what was going on. Maybe I had that in the wrong order.
“We are arresting you for the distribution of drugs,” Morris said.
“You are what?” I asked. I had agents removing my weapon and putting cuffs on me while she spoke.
“We have warrants to search your home, car, and office,” Morris added.
Once Rita arrived the bullshit case fell apart. It didn’t matter the damage was done. Even though there was absolutely nothing to it, the damage had been done. The charges made headlines the apology was on page ten, so to speak.
It turns out the previous owners of the Cop Out Donut Shoppe, were trying to raise more money by taking part in a drug pipeline. It was all clearing up and I was back in my chair within a week, but the damage was done to my reputation.
The blocked number came up on my phone, while I was waiting at home. At the time I was out on bail. I had suspended myself pending disposition of the case. “So Sylvia, I am sorry to hear of your current problems. I have taken the liberty of looking into the situation. Let me just say this Memphis Mafia has moved into the vacuum you yourself created. It may or may not be trying to move you out.”
“Thanks, hope you are enjoying the weather down there,” I said.
“It is lovely this time of the year. Now that you have some time, why not come to visit?” he asked.
“I think I might just go to Memphis instead,” I replied.
“Ah well please do be careful,” he said.
“You know I will,” I said. My phone’s battery was getting a real work out. The former owners of the bakery made their statement. Even before they were back in a jail cell, Rita knew about it.
“Well Sylvia, we have a classic false arrest suit here. I am going to file it as soon as the case is dropped. Before you say no, it is the only way to restore your reputation. We have to villainize the villains in this scenario to save your reputation. You will never get elected and that was Morris’s intention.”
“Okay Rita, do it,” I said. “You do not settle this unless the state admits blame publicly. I know you are in it for the money, but I’m in it to get my name cleared publicly.”
“This is going to take a few months, can you live till we settle this?” she asked.
“I will be alright, I own a donut shoppe,” I said.
Rita got the information about the Cop Out Donut Shoppe out quickly before we had a wholesale abandonment of our products. After they cleared me, I went back to the Shoppe to greet people. I didn’t talk about the case, but I thanked everyone of them for coming in.
Meanwhile the new bakers were getting up to speed. They came from the local Community College Bakers Culinary School. Once they saw how our people did things they were right at home with it.
I also spent a lot of time with Dog out at the church camp. He couldn’t give me his full attention he had to patrol the place for intruders, and of course those pesky killer rabbits. I had never seen him look so happy and alert. I tried to run with the men when they left for their afternoon runs, but they left me in the dust.
There was also part of the compound that held two cabins isolated from the rest. That part of the church camp was off limits. It was a super safe house was my guess. I expected that was a pretty good guess.
“You do know you are not going to be welcomed back with open arms?“ Martin asked.
“I know, but I didn’t start this. Shit will continue to happen no matter who sits in the Sheriff’s chair,” I said.
“Very true, but since Rita filed that false arrest suit, the State Bureau of Investigation is cleaning house. They are trying to get rid of the rot before it takes the management down,” Martin informed me.
“How do you know so much,” I asked.
“Channel 14 news,” he replied with a laugh. “Apply their information with my own sense of politics and the answers get clear. So it looks like you are going to beat the system again.”
“Yeah, then why does it feel like the system kicked my ass?” I asked.
“You were never good at seeing the long game Sylvia. If you have a fault it is a lack of patience,” Martin said. “It does have its value, but it isn’t always a valuable trait.”
“So what should I do. Rita wants me to accept that they forced me out. I need to do something while I wait for her suit to come to trial,” I said.
“Or they settle,” Martin said.
“Yes, then I could take my job back, if I wanted it,” I said.
“Take the money and tell them all to kiss your ass,” he said. “Then if you like all this cloak and dagger stuff, open your own private investigation service. I can send you enough work to keep you in toys,” he said.
“Why would you do that?” I asked.
“Because of what happened in Vera Cruz,” he said simply. “I sent an order that was wrong on every level. You ignored it and went about doing the right thing.”
“You mean, you wouldn’t have done this before?” I asked.
“Sylvia you are not physically beautiful. I would not do it for any other reason,” he said.
“Martin, I know that I’m no Miss America, but I suck cock better than she does,” I said with a laugh.
“I wouldn’t know,” he said. “I think my wife likes it that way.”
I waited peacefully and I spent my time between the Donut Shoppe, Jeremy’s gallery and the Church Camp visiting Dog. He played with the men and did his rounds of the fence line. I loved seeing him so happy.
The Memphis Mafia was someone else’s problem regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit. I was approached by several Deputies and two Highway Patrol Sergeants. They wanted to buy into the Cop Out Donut Shoppe.
They offered me more than I had put in for only a 49% interest. “If I do this, we use your money to open a second location with a DIY sandwich shop in the plaza.”
“I think that is a hell of an idea,” one of the Highway patrolman said.
“It isn’t that generous, I will make the business a loan, which it will have to pay back with interest, if the idea works. If it doesn’t I’ll write it off as a bad idea, and forgive the loan.”
“That is more than fair,” They all agreed.
“I’ll have Rita my attorney put it all in writing for you to sign, as a full disclosure, before we make any deals.”
Rita was a busy young lady. She met with me at one of the two tables of the donut shop. Over coffee she explained that there was a settlement offer on the table. The state would not admit any wrong doing, but would pay me ten million dollars for the damage they did to my reputation. Some newswoman from Capitol City had volunteered that she had been tipped by an SBI agent. According to the tip there was going to be a big arrest in County Seat. That arrest would change local law enforcement everywhere.
She managed to get hold of some internal memos that suggested the SBI was seeking to take over law enforcement in Warren County. Then it planned to move on to other small County’s Law Enforcement. It would be further evidence of a plot to have the state take over of all the law enforcement in the state. It would be in direct violation of the state constitution. Why not, the federal government was violating the constitution all the time. The story broke first on the Television station in Capitol City. It was a nice tirade.
“Rita tell them to stick it up their ass. They admit they were trying to take over County Seat and I’ll take the ten million. If they won’t admit it then the price is twenty million. If not we go to court, where all the dirty laundry will be aired. Also tell them they might want to check with their socialist governor. The one hoping to run for president so he can continue the socialist agenda they are pitching now.”
Edited by Walt