Carbon County Sheriff Dwight L. Nothstein has issued an apology for a statement he made during a "Tax Day/Candidates Night" event on April 18.
At the event, Nothstein quoted former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack as saying that he hoped a sheriff would "take out some IRS agents."
The Carbon sheriff said he quoted Mack from a magazine article, which has since made a correction.
The corrected quote, said Nothstein, is, "My dear friends. I pray for the day when the first sheriff of this country knows and understand his duty well enough, that he'll be the first one to fire the next shot around the world and arrest a couple of IRS agents."
A written apology from Nothstein says:
"Sheriff Nothstein apologizes for misquote sent to him for the debate at Penn's Peak, April 18, 2011. I also issued an apology to Sheriff Mack. With best wishes."
At the debate, Sheriff Nothstein gave the misquote in response to a question from an audience member.
The magazine from which Nothstein got the quote was the SPLC Intelligence Report, which is from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC claims to monitor hate and extremism.
The exact quote in the magazine was, "My dear friends, I pray for the day that the first sheriff in this country (is) the one to fire the shot heard 'round the world and take out some IRS agents."
After being quoted on the debate, Sheriff Mack wrote a letter to Nothstein demanding the apology.
The letter to Nothstein said:
"As you know, on April 18 of this year, at a live televised debate, you made some slanderous remarks about me in response to a question from a citizen who attended the debate. For some unknown reason your response to the question about your feelings regarding the Oath Keepers center on 9/12 people and even more bizarre, about me."
Sheriff Mack criticized Nothstein for the comment he claimed "was so irresponsible and absurd that it would make every voter in your county stare in disbelief."
Mack said besides Nothstein misquoting him, the Carbon sheriff "added that I was not sane and then you compared me to Hitler."
The letter from Mack to Nothstein said he confronted the SPLC about their article, adding, "They actually did something you should have done; investigate the matter to verify the truth of such an inflammatory remark. Since my conversation with the SPLC, they have issued me an apology and a retraction."
Mack said if Sheriff Nothstein didn't apologize, "I will take further action."
Nothstein will be opposed by Republican candidate Steven Armbruster in the November election. Although running on the GOP ticket, Armbruster has made it clear he is running as a "Constituional Sheriff"
His platform is "promising not to enforce any law, edict or policy that would violate the civil rights of county citizens."