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Friday, June 23, 2017

"Reform"

Blogger Comments:


Mr. Fredricks, please understand that the inmate food funds are the least of Sheriff Ana Franklin's problems.  If the contempt was the only issue Franklin was facing she would be as happy as a pig in poop. Ana's biggest fear is facing a Federal Grand Jury Indictment on multiple counts. 

Redemption is a very big word to use when speaking of Sheriff Ana Franklin. God provides redemption for all, so does the criminal justice system.  Sheriff Ana Franklin ran on transparency and claimed that she would never take the inmate food funds.  That was just the beginning of her lies. The sheriff was busted for doing the things she said she would not do.   Franklin has no intention of owning reform.  In addition, Sheriff Franklin did not replace the money she took from the MCSO Inmate Food Fund into the official account, instead Franklin deposited the money into a personal account she opened in December 2016.  Franklin opened an Inmate Fund in Cullman, Alabama after the whistleblowers discovered proof that she took the money out of the true MCSO Inmate Food Fund account.  Ana told multiple lies about where she got the money to invest in the Title Marts. Ana told the truth only after it was proven that she was lying about how she got the money.  Ana then demanded the money from a sucker she once associated with. It is safe to say that the inmates nor the source of the pay back cash will ever see a dime of that money again.  Franklin is a person who seems to think that if she can figure out a way to take it, she can figure out a way to keep it.  It never crosses her mind that it isn't her money to have.

It is refreshing that Mr. Fredricks believes the archaic system is corrupt.   If any of you out there in blog land happens to know Mr. Fredricks, ask him to read the blog.  If he only knew that the inmate food funds are the least of this sheriff’s problem.  Franklin will get to gain firsthand knowledge of how Federal Laws handle corruption.


Comments from a concerned citizen:  She's too far gone to redeem herself. Second she should have taken the issue to court challenging the court order before she ever took the money Third its too late for her to push for reform and be a poster child for reform. She took and fought to take more. That in her case is talking out of both sides of her mouth. Last she will never do that. She loves the money and that's why she is sheriff and she doesn't want to have enemies in the Alabama sheriffs association.


Decatur Daily Comments on the article - Sheriff Wins

Blogger Comments: It always amazes me that even after Franklin was held in contempt by Judge Kallon some of you want to blame Retired Federal Judge U.W. Clemon for being "wrong".  Even more amazing is the fact that Franklin was found in contempt of court which means she is guilty. Look it up.  

Prisoners punishment is being in jail not being deprived of nutritional meals.  The contempt finding against Franklin is the least of her problems. The thing that keeps Franklin up until two or three o'clock in the morning is something she has no control over and believe it or not it isn't the morgancountywhistleblowers.  Ana's biggest fear is facing a Federal Grand Jury Indictment on multiple felony charges.  


What are you folks going to say once Franklin is arrested?  Are you going to blame it on the whistleblowers?  George makes the comment that "Remember the prisoners chose the life of crime." Remember those words George you will have an opportunity to relive those words again in your mind.  Will you say, well she chose the life of crime, or will you continue to live in denial.  

 (10) comments



George Harvey 
The prisoners should get the food that has the required daily nutrition and calories. Have not heared of malnutrition being an issue. Remember the prisoners chose the life of crime.
Comment deleted.


Bill Wood 
I agree Janice and I understood the point you were making. Mistakes are made, but intentionally trying to cover them up is wrong. It's too bad that U W. Clemon doesn't admit he was wrong in his judgement.


Sam Cat 
This whole thing is based on money which is supposed to be used to provide adequate nutrition for people who broke the law and are in jail. How bout this . . don't break the law and this will not be an issue. I have zero sympathy for someone who violates the rights of others but yet claims they don't get a 3 course meal.


Bill Wood 
To think that the inmates are going hungry is asine. The law allows for the sheriff to to feed the inmates and to keep the leftover monies. The former sheriff was the victim of an over zealous newspaper writer and a racist judge. Change the law, but don't selectively persecute those that take advantage of the statute that gives them that right.


Pamela Blakely 
I agree Bill!


Janice Pointer 
I voted for her. I supported her. She should be removed from office. Either by impeachment or by the voters. Disgraceful and embarrassing.


Gayla Wynn 

👍



Gayla Wynn 

👍



J. T. 
Concur.


Susan Smith 
Beyond the issue of her illegal action, this is a more startling moral failure. You have one job: house and care for inmates. It's unconscionable to fail to provide food when it is clearly within your power to do so. To spend that money on a personal expense instead? Unforgivable in a government official.

Ana's biggest fear

Blogger Comments:  Ana's biggest fear is a Federal Grand Jury Indictment against her for multiple crimes.  How will Ana sweet talk the outside agencies that investigate Federal Crimes?  

U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Former Alabama Representative Oliver Robinson


Former Alabama Rep. Oliver Robinson has entered into a plea agreement to federal bribery, conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion charges that he received bribes through his foundation from a coal company and law firm to advocate against EPA efforts to expand the number of polluted areas slated for cleanup in and around north Birmingham.
According to a court document, Robinson has been charged with conspiracy, bribery, honest services wire fraud, three other counts of wire fraud, and tax evasion. 
The charges were filed against Robinson on Thursday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham. The plea agreement was entered at the same time.
Robinson is to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge on July 13 for his arraignment on the charges. A date has not been set for him to enter his guilty plea.
The charges outline a conspiracy that the Oliver Robinson Foundation was paid money through a valuable contract with the law firm Balch & Bingham and the Oliver Robinson Foundation. The law firm, which represented the Drummond Company and its property ABC Coke in opposing adding land in Tarrant and the Inglenook neighborhood of Birmingham to the Superfund's National Priorities List.
An unnamed partner (identified as Attorney #1) at Balch & Bingham and an unnamed Drummond employee (Employee #1) were involved in the conspiracy, according to the charges.
Balch & Bingham represented Drummond and ABC Coke in relation to the 35th Avenue site.
"Attorney #1" coordinated the response to EPA's actions on behalf of ABC Coke and Drummond Company. "Drummond Employee #1," was involved with the attorney in responding to EPA. The two formed the Alliance for Jobs and the Economy as a tax-exempt corporation in 2015 to raise money to help fund their opposition to the EPA actions, according to the charges.
The strategy employed by the attorney and the Drummond executive focused on protecting ABC Coke and Drummond from the tremendous potential costs associated with being held responsible for pollution within the affected areas, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorneys Office. They sought to accomplish this goal by working to prevent EPA from listing the 35th Avenue site on the National Priorities List and expanding the Superfund site into Tarrant and Inglenook.
The plan included advising residents of North Birmingham and public officials to oppose EPA's actions, according to court documents.
As part of the overall strategy, Balch & Bingham paid Robinson, through his non-profit foundation, to represent Balch & Bingham's and its clients' interests, exclusively, in matters related to EPA's actions in North Birmingham. Over the course of the contract in 2015 and 2016, Balch & Bingham paid $360,000 to the foundation.
No charges have been filed against the Drummond employee and Balch attorney.
But Robinson is cooperating in an on-going investigation, said Robert Posey, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. A federal grand jury also is looking at the case, he said.
Posey said that Robinson represented the interests of those who paid him rather than those residents he was elected to represent. Robinson accepted $360,000 in contracts in the bribery scheme, he said.
The key event, Posey said, was when Robinson went before the Alabama Environmental Commission in 2015 and urged them to resist EPA efforts to clean up polluted neighborhoods in and around north Birmingham.
"This case gets at the heart of public corruption in Alabama," Posey said in a statement to reporters today. "Well-funded special interests offer irresistible inducements to public officials. In exchange, the officials represent the interests of those who pay rather than the interests of those who vote. Here a public official betrayed his community to advocate for those who polluted their neighborhoods."
Richard  S. Jaffe and Michael Whisonant Jr. of the law firm of Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C., who represent Robinson, issued this statement:
"Oliver is deeply aware that he has let down the public, his constituents and his family as it relates to certain decisions he made that he deeply regrets. Entering into a plea agreement with the government represents the clearest evidence that he is taking complete responsibility for his mistakes and misjudgments. Since the investigation unfolded, He has been, and intends to remain, faithful to the truth as he moves forward and puts the past behind him. He offers no excuse- just deep remorse- for his past actions."
In his plea deal Robinson agrees never again to seek elected office and pledges to pay restitution and forfeiture. Robinson will be sentenced under federal sentencing guidelines and will likely face prison time, Posey said.



U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Former Alabama Representative Oliver Robinson

Two of the wire fraud charges brought against Robinson do not relate to the bribery conspiracy.  Those two counts relate to Robinson spending $17,783 of campaign contributions on personal items unrelated to his legislative campaigns.
Two of the expenditures identified in the charges was a $2,024 charge in December 2013 at Saks Fifth Avenue and a $400 charge in February 2014 at Victoria's Secret.
Another wire fraud count charges Robinson with soliciting money from corporations, representing he would use it to publish a magazine or to defray costs for an annual Partnering for Progress Business Conference or the annual Alabama Black Achievers Awards Gala, which the Oliver Robinson Foundation sponsored, a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office explained. Robinson spent at least $250,000 of those contributions on personal items unrelated to the magazine or the annual events, according to the settlement.
The FBI and IRS investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys George Martin and Robin Beardsley Mark are prosecuting.
Robinson resigns
About a year and a half after Robinson spoke out at the ADEM meeting, Robinson abruptly resigned from the Alabama Legislature.
His resignation late last year stunned many in Alabama political circles. He said at the time he was resigning so his daughter, Amanda Robinson, could keep a job as a legislative liaison in Gov. Robert Bentley's administration without her having a conflict of interest.
Rep. Oliver Robinson resigned abruptly last year

Robinson, a former basketball star at UAB, served in the Alabama Legislature for almost two decades. Despite being a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Legislature, he held considerable power before he resigned. He had seats on the House Rules Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, and served as co-chair of the Jefferson County delegation.
The foundation later paid Robinson's daughter, Amanda, who actively sought to discourage poor north Birmingham and Tarrant residents from testing their property for pollutants.
Robinson's daughter has not been charged related to the federal investigation.
EPA superfund list
The Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 proposed adding the area around 35th Avenue North to the priorities list, which would give the EPA broad authority to investigate and clean industrial pollution and require nearby companies to pay for cleanup. The EPA had found high concentrations of lead, arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) or other chemicals in parts of the North Birmingham, Fairmont, Collegeville, and Harriman Park neighborhoods.
Around the same time, the Birmingham air quality group Gasp asked the EPA to assess the area around ABC Coke in Tarrant, about a mile northeast of the 35th Avenue site. That project would become known as the Pinson Valley Neighborhood Site. The EPA found reason to believe the areas should be examined further and conducted a site inspection, but ultimately decided no further action was warranted at the time.
Those efforts to add the areas to the EPA's priorities list triggered pushback -- from business interests, and from Robinson.
The Business Council of Alabama strongly opposed the effort, especially because the EPA wanted to charge nearby industries for deposits on the polluted ground. So did then-Attorney General Luther Strange, who warned that the state would refuse to fund any of the cleanup if the companies did not pay for it.
The EPA in letters named five companies -- U.S. Pipe, Alagasco, KMAC, Walter Coke and Drummond -- as potentially responsible for the pollution.
Throughout the process, Balch & Bingham represented Drummond and ABC Coke. In August 2014, Balch & Bingham responded to the EPA on behalf of Drummond and ABC Coke, and later sued EPA seeking data the agency used to tie Drummond to the site.

Near the end of 2015, signs began to appear around the area under the name "Get Smart Tarrant," which read "Don't let the EPA fool you," and urged residents to contact a Get Smart Gmail address for more information.
Not long after, in January 2016, an email went out from a "Get Smart Tarrant" email address to concerned citizens urging them not to have their soil tested.
That email bore the name of Amanda Robinson. When asked about the email, she had no comment.
"The EPA is testing the soil to determine whether there are contaminants in the area. If the amount of contaminates that the EPA deems necessary is found, then they will consider the Tarrant area a Superfund Site," the email read. "Get Smart is asking residents not to allow the EPA to test the soil their (sic) property. We are asking this because the residents will still have to pay property taxes, even though they (sic) property will have no value."
And Oliver Robinson resisted, too. In February 2015, he spoke against the designation in the meeting before the Environmental Management Commission.
In his remarks, Robinson repeated the arguments made in the Get Smart emails, that the EPA efforts would destroy property values in these neighborhoods.
The EPA did not add the site to its National Priorities List for its superfund cleanup program.
This story is being updated
Ex-lawmaker, county official profit from company, political ties
Hillary Clinton campaign chair, Business Council of Alabama have ties to Oliver Robinson, who remains under investigation.

Robinson Charges by KentFaulk on Scribd

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Where has all the government surplus equipment gone

We continuously have contacts ask us where all of the surplus equipment is that Sheriff Franklin had Danny McDaniels obtain from Government surplus?  Danny McDaniels procures the equipment and at one point he sent JP out to obtain the equipment.  Why is the sheriffs office buying multiple 4 wheelers, lawn mowers, golf carts, and other items from surplus and where is all of the equipment housed that Franklin procured?  Has the purchases stopped since the Title Mart went bankrupt?  Have they been logged into MCSO property?

We are fully aware of the $1,700.000.00 military equipment that Franklin Purchased.

Perhaps someone needs to request the records from the General Service Agency (GAO) to get an accurate account of the sheriffs office purchases.

Morgan sheriff: Arsenal of military surplus equipment mainly for disaster relief

  • By Seth Burkett Staff Writer
  •  


    Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said a government program that put surplus military equipment in the hands of local authorities, though criticized by some for militarizing law enforcement, is giving first responders the tools they need for disaster relief.
    Franklin said she doesn’t consider her department, which has received more than $1.7 million in equipment through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, mostly in recent years, “militarized.”
    “I understand that maybe with everything going on nationally some people may feel that way, but I honestly don’t feel that way,” Franklin said.
    Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, have used tear gas and armored vehicles in clashes with protesters after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager by a police officer.
    That has prompted some in Congress to propose repealing the 1033 program. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said he plans to introduce legislation to monitor or eliminate the transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement. On the other side of the aisle, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash took to Facebook to say, “The government escalates tensions with its use of military equipment and tactics.”
    Equipment Morgan County obtained through the 1033 program includes semi-automatic M4 carbine rifles, night-vision equipment, Humvees, helicopters and a 14-ton armored vehicle.
    But most of the items — computers, cots, blankets, forklifts, cargo containers, a water tank, water purifier, microwave, field kitchen and refrigerated truck — have no offensive application.
    “I think that’s what the majority of law enforcement does use this program for, and it’s a huge taxpayer savings,” Franklin said.
    Franklin said she recognized the need for many of those items after the April 27, 2011, tornadoes.
    “That’s when we really started working this program, because we realized how little equipment we have that would allow us to do our jobs as first responders to take care of victims in this county,” she said. “If the federal government is giving away stuff, we’re going to try and get whatever they’re giving away that can help.”
    The only cost to the department is the expense of picking up equipment from military bases where it’s stored until an agency lays claim.
    Alabama’s participation in the program was suspended March 6 because paperwork from some equipment recipients was missing. State officials transferred the program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Economic and Community Affairs, which handles other surplus property programs.
    ADECA spokesman Larry Childers said the department determined that no property was missing, but some paperwork was missing. The department is working to try to get the program reinstated, he said.
    The program came under media scrutiny after events in Ferguson. Police wearing camouflage and body armor and toting assault rifles responded to protests on the streets of the St. Louis suburb.
    “I would like to think that nothing like that could happen here, but I’m sure the people of Ferguson never thought that could happen there,” Decatur Councilman Billy Jackson said. “I don’t think you could ever say it would never happen here or it would never happen in our neighboring communities.”
    Jackson said complaints from residents against Decatur police that he’s taken to the chief have always been addressed.
    Decatur attorney Allen Stoner said he’s not aware of any allegations of civil liberties violations tied to the use of military equipment by authorities locally.
    Stoner pointed to the tumult during the 1960s and ’70s, when law enforcement appeared less militarized.
    “Just because you’re carrying an assault rifle or wearing camouflage doesn’t make you more aggressive,” he said.
    Decatur police don’t use the Pentagon program. Spokesman Lt. John Crouch said Decatur chose to buy civilian, semi-automatic AR-15 rifles, which cost $800 to $1,000 instead of obtaining military M16 rifles for free.
    In making that decision, the department weighed public perception of officers carrying automatic weapons and the risk if one of the guns was ever stolen, Crouch said.
    “When an officer opts for a patrol rifle, it’s not for power. It’s for range and accuracy,” Crouch said.
    Franklin said deputies train to shoot the seven M4 rifles obtained from the program, but the guns haven’t been put to use in the field.
    “We haven’t really had a need for them,” she said.
    The guns are kept “locked down and accounted for” in the sheriff’s office, Franklin said.
    Another thing that hasn’t been used is the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle the department got in October. The price of gasoline to drive the MRAP from Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to the garage in Priceville where it’s now stored was a drop in the bucket compared to it $412,000 value, authorities said.
    Franklin said the MRAP is a “just in case” vehicle that could be deployed during an active shooter situation to evacuate an area, retrieve victims or safely transport deputies into a dangerous area.
    “We can’t send personnel in unless we have a way to protect them,” she said. “For me, that is no different than a giant bullet-proof vest.”
    In such a situation, timing is critical, the sheriff said.
    “The more that local law enforcement can do in their own community, the less we have to rely on someone else to come in and do it,” Franklin said. “If you have an active shooter, are you going to wait for somebody two counties away or are you going to do something?”
    Other vehicles have seen more use.
    Five Humvees — painted black and adorned with sheriff’s insignia to give them a less-military look — have proven useful in inclement weather because they have four-wheel drive, Franklin said.
    The Sheriff’s Department has two helicopters — one for flying and one for spare parts — and regularly uses the operating chopper in searches for missing persons or suspects.
    The department does not have a Special Weapons and Tactics team, but it does have a tactical entry team, largely comprised of county Drug Task Force agents, to execute search warrants and high-risk felony warrants. Team members are typically outfitted with bullet-proof vests, gloves, boots, flashlights and a shotgun and ram for breaching doors. Rifles are available but rarely used.
    In rare instances, flash bangs or tear gas might be employed, though the department does not use grenade launchers to fire tear gas canisters, Franklin said.
    Because suspected meth labs make up the bulk of the searches, “we have to be very careful with any kind of chemical entry because of the likelihood that it could cause an explosion,” the sheriff said. “I can’t remember ever using tear gas as a routine entry tool.”
    Crouch said Decatur police’s Special Response Unit — its version of SWAT — is deployed four times a year on average. That includes about one drug search warrant per year.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Seth Burkett can be reached at 256-340-2446 or sburkett@decaturdaily.com. Follow on Twitter @DD_SethBurkett.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Good For You Decatur Daily

Blogger Comments:  The people of this county need to wake up and ensure that the people we elect work for the citizens of the county.  We must demand transparency.  We must demand that they follow the Alabama Codes as they apply to them.  The sheriff and law enforcement officers as a whole have laws that apply to them.  Any citizen of Morgan County should be able to walk into the sheriff's office and view the financial records and expenditures of the office w/o being denied, harassed, or being required to submit an Alabama Open Record Request as the Alabama Code stipulates.  The sheriff did get a slap on the hand.  She did not learn her lesson.  Franklin is so arrogant that instead of placing the money that she took from the inmate food account back in the account, she placed the money into the suspicious account she set up last December.     

I received very specific information involving one of the "investors" that is alarming.  I contacted the individual yesterday.  He was not happy and threatened to take me to court, charge me with harassment and more.  Very well.  I staffed the information accordingly.  How soon we forget when a 4 wheeler pulls up on our property and sits and watches family members.  Yes, we have witnesses.  Or when the same person comes to a neighbor's house along with a citizen and searches the house without a warrant.   Yes, there were witnesses.  How strange is it that the civilian with the law enforcement officer and the civilian began a search of the house looking for stolen weapons.  How strange is it that less than a week later the citizen apologizes to the owner of the house and the wife of the man they accused of the theft after learning his own brother-in-law stole his weapons.   All of the complaints went to Sheriff Ana Franklin who did nothing with the information.  The information also went to the State of Alabama.  

There are citizens under the rogue MCSO administration who have gone through pure hell because of the actions of the sheriff and her thugs.  Even her ex-thugs.  This individual by taking action against the whistleblower can cause her no more harm than that already done.  Our incidents involving rogue law enforcement is well documented and will not be tolerated.  It is unfortunate that a few bad eggs within local and state law enforcement tarnish the names of the fantastic men and women who work for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office and those of ALEA.

If the thugs get the right attorney and the right judge they may win in the short term as in the class action law suit Franklin is encouraging people to join.  Nothing you can do to any of us at this point will stop your downfall.  

Stay away from peoples property and family.  Do not shoot high powered weapons that have the capability of reaching other peoples property.  Please just set back and wait your turn for the real law to take action.  What do you have to lose?

The sheriff wins

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin was in contempt of court. She admitted it, and the federal judge agreed. And she got a slap on the wrist.
Franklin walked into this mess with her eyes wide open.
Former Sheriff Greg Bartlett was held in contempt of court in 2009 after giving his inmates a steady diet of corn dogs. He got the food cheap, and under an archaic state law he was able to personally keep any unspent inmate food money received from the state. He benefited financially, but a federal judge determined he was violating a previous federal order requiring adequate nutrition for inmates.
Bartlett ended up in jail for a night, but ultimately he and the county agreed to an amended order. The order was unambiguous: “The Sheriff of Morgan County shall immediately establish and implement a procedure whereby all funds provided by any source for the feeding of inmates … will be used exclusively for the feeding of said inmates … .”
This order was in place when Franklin ran for office, and it was troublesome. It effectively reduced her salary relative to sheriffs in most other counties. Even before she took office, she asked former county attorney Bill Shinn whether she was bound by the order. His rather obvious answer was yes, it did apply to her. Any Morgan County sheriff was prohibited by the order from pocketing money designated for inmate food.
But then Franklin saw a deal so good she couldn’t pass it up. She had an opportunity to invest $150,000 of inmate food money in a used car dealership managed by a convicted felon. The short-term loan would add $20,000 to her cash, an expected windfall she now says she planned to spend entirely on inmate food.
This bizarre lapse in judgment by one of the most powerful elected officials in the county might have gone unnoticed but for the fact the cash-desperate business in which she invested inmate food money filed for bankruptcy. Franklin was listed as a creditor, and her constituents’ question was obvious. Where did she get the money?
The Decatur Daily filed multiple public records requests seeking the answer to this question. She did not provide the requested documents. The Daily asked her the question and her answer was that the loan came from “savings for retirement.”
It was not until the Southern Center for Human Rights resumed aggressive monitoring of Franklin’s accounts — something they had the authority to do based on the earlier federal order — that the truth came out. Despite a federal court order that she use inmate food money “exclusively for the feeding of said inmates,” she used the money to invest in a used car dealership.
Franklin’s violation of the court order had minor legal consequences. She could have petitioned the court to end the restrictions two years after the 2009 order was issued, and the court agreed to end them going forward. She was fined $1,000 for being in contempt.
It was a major legal victory for the sheriff.
The issue for Franklin’s constituents, however, is different. The chief law enforcement officer in the county — the elected official charged with the responsibility of enforcing court orders against others — failed to abide by a court order. And her violation of the order demonstrated startlingly bad judgment.
She failed to go through the public steps of asking the court to revise or end the order, preferring to violate it quietly. The temptation that caused her to violate the order was the promise of a quick return from a used car dealership managed by a convicted felon. She was not candid with the media when asked about it.
Franklin avoided the embarrassment of spending a night in jail like her predecessor. She cannot be surprised, however, if the people of the county no longer trust her judgment or her candor.