A sheriff should have the community they serve as a primary concern. Elected officials are beholden to those who got them into power and who can keep them in power. This are generally few citizens with money or power. I want my law enforcement to be beholden to keeping the community safe, not baby sitting a certain few or returning favors.
Hire sheriffs the same way police chiefs are hired — they apply, test, interview, etc. Hire the most qualified person for the job. The newly hired sheriff would have to have interpersonal skills to adapt to his new crew, instead of clearing the house in order to fill favors or get yes-people in key positions.
As a regular resident of Hollywood, if I was pulled over for a DUI for the first, second or third time, I better get the same treatment as Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and Lindsey Lohan. Laws are laws and they are the same for everyone. Either the sheriff is repaying election favors or he's still getting "gifts" for continuing favors.