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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Civil Forfeiture Reform May be in Trouble

BLOGGER COMMENTS: To begin with, the passage of reform was always iffy.  It's easy enough to point out injustice but it's darned hard to correct it when entrenched money is involved.  Senator Orr appears to be a champion of lost causes:  forfeiture reform, a lottery that benefits education exclusively, sheriffs starving inmates to pad their pockets....Oh, wait a minute.  We won that one.!

There's always another legislative session.  He'll try again.  

From the legislature:

Asset seizures
Decatur Sen. Arthur Orr’s bill to prohibit law enforcement agencies from seizing the assets of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime again met resistance Thursday on the Senate floor and did not get a vote. It could come up again though.
Under Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture law, police can seize property if they have reason to believe it was criminally gained. Even if there’s no conviction, law enforcement can keep the property with a civil court order.
On the Senate floor Thursday, Orr said one in four people who have their assets taken are never criminally charged.
“We didn’t convict, much less charge the person whose property we have,” he said. “That’s something I think the public ought to know.”
Some law enforcement agencies oppose Orr’s bill.
“I’m getting some dings from back home on this,” Sen. Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, said on the Senate floor before the bill was carried over.  I'll just bet.  Many DA's and law enforcement officials are 'dinging' all right.

Monday, May 20, 2019

How typical it is.

Blogger comments.   It is typical that when we get into difficult situations that we turn to Our Lord and Savior.  He knows us inside and out.  It doesn't matter who you are and what you have done the Lord loves us and welcomes us all.  It doesn't matter if you are a preacher, Sunday school teacher, blogger, criminal, nor anyone else.

What our Lord expects is us to live with a clear heart.  In our situation here in Morgan County, a lot of good people did the right thing.  They went across the river.  Thanks to all of those fine outstanding law enforcement officers who testified in Judge Thompson's courtroom in April 2018. A lot of illicit behavior was cleared up and the truth was told.

We haven't taken the time to thank those law enforcement officers enough.  There were law enforcement officers from Morgan, Etowah, and Madison County who dared tell the truth.  Now all those on the wrong side of the law want us to believe they are on the right side.  Time will tell.  There may be little to no jail time but the good guys won.  How so?  Those who caused damage to the county, citizens, court systems, MCSO employees, inmates, and others now have no role in our community.  Well! With the exception of court hearings and proceedings, more litigation, and more ridiculous lawsuits.  These folks are on the right side of nowhere.  All it takes is one as low as the others to keep up the rhetoric and this cancer in our community will continue to plague us.

On a positive note.  The people who matter:  the new sheriff, Arthur Orr, the county commission, the DA Scott Anderson, and others who pulled together to clean up our county.

Look what we have all accomplished together.  Those who acted inappropriately are no longer employed.  Thanks to our previous sheriff and many more sheriffs around the state, the legislature passed a bill to ensure that sheriffs can no longer partake of inmate food funds.  The Alabama Sheriffs Association, the legislature is on board, the Governor is on board.  Oh, by the way.  There is/or was a sheriffs office account that was in the sheriff's name.  Those funds were minimal and we mean minimal.  We do not believe for one moment that our previous sheriff put one darn dime of personal money in the inmate food funds.  Time will tell.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Franklin claims taking inmate food funds was legal - Really?

Blogger Opinion Below:  Channel 48 News Must Read.  Click on the CHANNEL 48 News URL Below.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin (Source: WAFF)

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin is responding to the allegations against her over jail food.

Blogger Opinion:  Our previous sheriff was furnished an opinion from the county attorney prior to winning her first election as sheriff.  The opinion seemed to answer any questions that may arise in the future.  By the way, the answer to the inmate food funds was that the sheriff was not entitled to partake of the inmate food funds.  If you recall, Sheriff Bartlette went to jail over taking inmate food funds.  

During those days taking inmate food funds was forbidden because Morgan County was under a Federal Consent Decree.  That was the law.  When Franklin's predecessor went to Jail Sheriff Mike Blakely submitted a Request for Information to the State Attorney General's office asking if he could partake in inmate food funds.  Blakely received an opinion that he could not take inmate food funds as additional pay.

There are a few of those opinions posted that any of the Alabama sheriffs could have researched.  They didn't.  

The FBI conducted a thorough investigation.  Citizens and MCSO employees were instrumental in bringing the taking of inmate food funds to the attention of those who could make the much-needed changes we have seen come to pass this year.  The Morgan county DA, Scott Anderson must have thought long and hard about how he wanted to protect the citizens from unscrupulous law enforcement officers.  He took on that challenge.  

The law enforcement officers that worked hard on this case did a fantastic job.  Law enforcement officers came forward and testified to the dirty deeds of the previous sheriff and her cohorts.  

Now we sit back and watch the court proceedings to get to the rest of the stories.

Falkville Chief Police Resigns

Blogger Opinion:  We are happy to see that ex-Chief of Police Chris Free resigned.  He is doing the right thing.  At the same time, the FBI can continue their investigation and let the cards fall where they may.

Once the results of the investigation have been revealed we can start over with a fresh new chief who hopefully will not bring in a ton of baggage


Monday, May 13, 2019

Difficult times and hard times ahead

These past few months have been difficult for the whistleblower.  It is hard to love and lose so much in a very short time frame.  It makes you realize how important and unimportant things are in life.  They say anything that doesn't kill you will make you stronger.  Wow!  When unexpected events occur it gives you a clearer perspective on life, what's important, and what's not.

Which means for us that time will take care of the little stuff.  Though for me and Leon Bradley the little stuff seems bigger than most little stuff.  Eventually, it will all be over.

Personal tragedies take precedence over guessing what, when, how, where, and why things are or are not happening to those who wreaked havoc on our county.  It is possible that nothing will ever happen to those who destroyed so many lives to include their own.  Self-destruction through crossing the line is not uncommon.

At some point, we get hit hard with the reality that shakes us to the core.  In other cases, people don't care or are not smart enough to care.  They are too busy bragging that they won.  Yes! but what did you win through lying, cheating, taking, being untrustworthy, and gaining riches from others?  Nothing.  It will be like quicksilver that slides from your hands.  No matter what you have in your private hiding hole or storage unit it will be worthless.  It does not compensate for all that one loses. 

You have lost the respect of the community, the sheriff's office, the politicians in our community, to include all of those which followed the stories on the Decatur Daily and the media.  Sure you won.  But what did you win?

Congratulations!!  You won...  There is still a lot of thin ice out there.

There is still a long way to go.

Delay Delay Delay

Folks, our previous sheriff who failed to file her tax return sentencing has been delayed until June 26, at 10 a.m.

Sheriff pleads guilty to tax violation



Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin will be arraigned in January for a tax violation, the same month she leaves office.
Franklin was charged Tuesday with one misdemeanor count of willful failure to file a personal tax return, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and faces a maximum penalty of a year in prison and $100,000 fine. She agreed to plead guilty to the charge.
Franklin, of Hartselle, referred questions to her lawyer, William Gray of Birmingham. Gray said he expects Franklin to be sentenced after a pre-sentence report is completed, which will be sometime after her arraignment."We really don't think she did anything wrong," Gray said. "I hope the judge agrees with us she doesn't need to be incarcerated. There's only about 40 (million) or 50 million people who failed to file a return. This was after a 3½-year investigation."
Franklin, 54, was charged with failing to file a 2015 personal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. Also in 2015, the sheriff removed $160,000 from a jail food account and loaned $150,000 of it to Priceville Partners LLC. Priceville Partners declared bankruptcy in March 2016.
"We expect all of our citizens, to include and especially our public officials, to promptly and accurately file their tax returns," said Jay Town, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, in a statement Tuesday afternoon announcing the plea agreement.
The charge indirectly involved Franklin's use of the food money, Gray said, because Franklin's failure to file any 2015 tax returns stemmed from her confusion over whether to treat the food money as personal income.
State law is unclear as to whether sheriffs can keep unspent inmate-food money as personal income. Different attorneys general have arrived at different conclusions, although a federal order in effect in 2015 barred Morgan County sheriffs from personally keeping the money.Franklin's legal problems with the IRS stemmed from that legal uncertainty, Gray said.
"It's indirectly involved because nobody knew what to do. Everybody and his brother had opinions. It's just a very confusing law," Gray said, referring to Alabama law on whether or not sheriffs can keep leftover inmate food money as supplemental income.
"She didn't file a return, and she didn't deny it," Gray said. "She said, 'I didn't know what to do, and I didn't file.' "
When she eventually filed her 2015 return in late 2017, Gray said, she still didn't report the jail food money as income. He said he retained tax attorneys for Franklin, who convinced the IRS this omission was appropriate.
"The jail food money, under the law as I understand it, was always her money," Gray said. "But it's not a taxable event until she took it. We believe the tax law is such that when she loaned the money - and it went straight from the bank to Priceville Partners - that was not taxable."He said she has personally kept jail food money in 2018.
"She has taken some this year, and she's reported that to her accountant. But this is the first year she's received any of that," Gray said.
Gray said the plea agreement Franklin entered also precludes other charges by the Justice Department.
The plea agreement does not specify what penalty will be imposed.
"It will be up to the judge to decide," Gray said. "There is no agreement to what the penalties are. The plea agreement is that it's a misdemeanor, which is a very significant event. We don't think she deserves any jail time or anything like that. She admitted it and has entered a plea to it."Gray said they only accepted the deal after the Justice Department agreed to treat it as a misdemeanor.
"We're pleased, but frankly apprehensive. You cannot deny the fact she did not file a return," Gray said. "There are just some things you can't keep on fighting forever. I really hope the judge agrees with us there's no need for incarceration. She's done a lot of good things for Morgan County."
Franklin did not seek re-election and leaves office Jan. 14.
— or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

Friday, May 10, 2019

So! What about Morgan County

Sheriff Puckett has been sued for his handling of firing and dirty cops resigning.  That is some more joke.  These folks were proven guilty in a court of law by some of their peers yet they still keep complaining.  They claimed they were done wrong.  Did they really expect to keep their jobs because of their dastardly deeds?  Of course, they did.  Momma took care of the boys.

All of the baby's including mama need to grow up.  Tell the truth for once in their life.  Narsistic people can't do that.  Puckett along with Judge Glen Thompson (Retired) did the right thing and those whining and complaining are unhappy because they missed a critical deadline to appeal the ruling.

This mess has been going on far too long.  We are tired of it.  These guys are still out breathing our fresh air.  They accused the whistleblower and Bradley of all kinds of stories that were nothing but nightmares in their heads because they can't tell the truth.

Some of these folks gave up their families and their careers all for mama.  They will claim they were cheated, been mistreated, where did they go wrong.  Chasing after Mama's coat tail is what happened to them.

Time to lock them up

Over three hundred arrests for the 29 recently arrested for their dirty deeds.  Now they can look forward to Federal Prison.

Guns confiscated, 29 indicted in violent crime crackdown

Agents say they recovered unregistered machine guns like a belt-fed .50 caliber machine gun, smoke grenades, a converted AK-47 machine gun, and other firearms, along with drugs of immense value in investigations that spanned all of north Alabama.
"This violent crime reduction initiative has been very successful in getting numerous offenders off the street," said Luke Iverson, Resident Agent In Charge at the ATF.
Iverson said that the 29 defendants they announced on Thursday have been arrested a collective 358 times, with more than 60 felony convictions between them.
"Not only for law enforcement, but for the criminal justice system as a whole, that has huge implications," he stated.
Jay Town, U.S. Attorney, said the effort does not stop just because these arrests have been made.
"Our priority continues to be in the Department of Justice and certainly here in the northern district of Alabama, it continues to be getting our worst offenders off the street. Our most violent offenders off the street. Our habitual offenders off the street," Town said. "The men and women of the agencies represented [here], we are all working together like never before."
He added, "We are continuing to take guns off the street, but we are also continuing to take our trigger-pullers off the street so we can return our neighborhoods to those law abiding citizens."
Law enforcement says their cooperation with one another, especially federal partners, is crucial here because these crimes aren't confined to just one city.
"It's not a Huntsville problem, it's not a Madison or Madison County problem," said Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray. "These criminals have no jurisdictional lines. In fact, they use the system against us. They will jump jurisdictions. They will use the state laws so we can not keep them in jail. They will use parole, probation against us so they can get back out of jail."Authorities said the cooperation is what sets this initiative apart from the rest.
"What you are seeing here today is a great example of every agency in this jurisdiction working together," said Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner. "For 25 years I have been working the streets of Huntsville and I have never seen the cooperation that we are seeing right now, with what you are seeing in front of you."
U.S. Attorney Jay Town said the federal charges ensure that anyone convicted will not be in local or state jails but out-of-state prisons, disrupting the connections they have and their potential for parole. He said these charges mean the people accused could earn major federal prison time if convicted.
"At the federal level, if you get just even 2-3 years, you're going to do at least 85% of that time day for day," Town said, "and you're not going to do it across the river. You're not going to do it just an hour away with cell phones and dope and everything else that's in our prisons right now. You're going to do it in a federal prison in Montana, and you're not going to have that surrouding network of support so you can continue in your criminal activities, stay in touch with your criminal elements."
We should note that the ATF says the guns at their news conference are not the actual weapons seized, but ones similar to those in the active investigations.
Among those indicted were:
  • Roger Johnson, who was arrested in February after Jackson County authorities said he tried to blow up his mother.
  • Victor Ortiz-Castillo, who was arrested in October 2018 for shooting into a mobile home in Huntsville.
  • Rex Tidmore, who was indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon with a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and drug possession with intent to distribute. Tidmore had numerous firearms and was running a marijuana growing operation in DeKalb County, according to authorities.
  • Daniel Steele, who authorities said had numerous unregistered machine guns, including a 50-caliber machine gun, smoke grenades and handgun conversion devices. Authorities said Steele had no prior criminal history.
  • Barry Williams, Melvin Rolin, Marcus Kyle and Britney  Black, who were arrested for meth trafficking. Authorities said they were members of a group called the Froggy Drug Trafficking Organization. According to agents, Rolin said in an ATF interview he distributed at least 200 kilograms of meth in north Alabama over a two-year period.
The ATF said there are ways you can help them keep guns out of the wrong hands.
David Hyche, Assistant Special Agent in Charge with the A.T.F., urged, "Please secure your firearms and write down your make, model and serial number on all your guns and Keep that stored separately from where you keep your guns. This is an enormous problem."
"If you are selling dope, if you've got weapons, if you're a violent offender, you probably need to find another place to live. Because we are definitely going to do our job," said Sheriff Kevin Turner of Madison County.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama said in a news release that its office prosecuted 286 illegal firearms cases in fiscal year 2018, which was a record.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Congratulation Ed Henry

Blogger Comments:  Folks Ed Henry is one happy man.  He should be.  Why should he go to jail when most others don't.

Former lawmaker Ed Henry gets 2 years' probation in fraud case

  • Former Alabama legislator Ed Henry smiles as he speaks with reporters on Thursday outside the federal courthouse in Montgomery. A federal judge has sentenced Henry to two years of probation for his role in a health care fraud case. [Kim Chandler/The Associated Press]

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Alabama's embarrassing inmate food funds Disgrace and Corrupt Sheriffs.

Blogger Comments:  Most of the sheriffs will never have to pay a dime back for the atrocities they have committed.  Hungry inmates and lies to the public are over.  They will all lawyer up and some slimeball attorney will try to make the people believe they did nothing wrong.  That tells us many of the sheriffs being elected are illiterate.  We are saying that either they could not interpret the legal opinions before they took the money or they were playing dumb.  We doubt they were playing dumb.  The slimy attorneys will use the sheriff's ambivalence funds and file more and more frivolous lawsuits making them rich and trying to beat down those who fight the corruption.  The will continue getting paid and getting rich.  Surely, some of the slimeballs walk in their church back first.  We hope and pray they are not teachers of the flock.  Can you imagine what the flock is being taught?  Do as I say not as I do.  The Lord sees all.

We have found that some of the sheriffs can't tell the truth.  Try to keep up with the lies the previous sheriff of Morgan County told the Decatur Daily.  Our DA Scott Anderson is taking charge and is taking the sheriff to court.  It is about time we make these folks pay back the money they have taken.

We are also excited that the Alabama Sheriff's Association on the right side.

Alabama lawmakers pass bill to protect jail food funds

The Alabama Senate gave final passage today to new restrictions on the use of money allocated to counties intended to feed jail inmates.
The bill, by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, would require counties to establish a prisoner feeding fund to safeguard money intended for that purpose and raises the amount counties receive from the state for jail food. The bill came in response to several incidents of sheriffs using jail food money for their own purposes.The Alabama Sheriffs Association supported the bill.
Orr’s bill increases the state allowance to sheriffs to feed inmates from $1.75 to $2.25 a day. The House, which passed the bill on Tuesday, took out a provision to automatically raise the allowance by 2 percent a year starting in 2021. That sent the bill back to the Senate.
Orr moved to accept the House’s change today and the Senate agreed, giving the final passage.
The bill says at least 75 percent of the money left in the prisoner feeding fund at the end of the year must be carried over in the fund for the next year. Sheriffs could spend up to 25 percent of the unencumbered balance at the end of the year for law enforcement purposes.
The prisoner feeding funds would be subject to audits by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.
Orr said the support of county commissions and the sheriffs association helped get the legislation passed. He also thanked an reporter.
“I do have to tip my hat to reporter Connor Sheets," Orr said. "Because I think, having been living this issue for quite some time at the local level, I believe the articles written by that writer, and I’ve never met him, made a large difference in the attitude and the atmosphere in the Legislature and those surrounding the Legislature in getting that bill through this year with not a lot of opposition.”
The bill goes to Gov. Kay Ivey, who could sign it into law.
Last year, Gov. Kay Ivey began requiring sheriffs to sign an affidavit that they would use the jail food money only for that purpose.

  • 6 minutes ago
You really have to pass a bill that says taking money not meant for you is theft? Good grief Alabama.
    • 1 hour ago
    Wonder what our sheriffs will do now that they will have a harder time stealing the inmates meal funds?
      • 1 hour ago
      Reply to @pooltableguy: They have no problem "stealing" possessions from innocent people they drag in.
        • updated 1 hour ago
        Raising the per day food allowance from $1.75 to $2.25 - by 50 cents - is vile. Human adults cannot live on $2.25 per day. 

        That last part of the article is not true. Kay Ivey’s EO was about “food supplies” like plates, cups and sporks. She was hoping the media would do what just did and misreport it as something involving actual food funds.

          • 21 minutes ago
          Reply to @Tillyg417: I do not disagree that $2.25 is not much to feed someone with, but these funds have always been spent on things needed to feed the prisoners other than actual food, be it supplies, kitchen equipment, and so on (not talking about the personal use some sheriffs took some of the money for). And the amount has not increased since the early 1900's so at least they did finally raise it by some amount.
            • 1 hour ago
            Wow, they actually passed something that made sense. Shouldn't they have at least tacked on a pay raise for themselves :)
              • 2 hours ago
              The article ends mid sentence. Hopefully Todd Entrekin falls off his boat in the gulf.
                • 1 hour ago
                Reply to @beernutz: 

                It’s about time for Ellen Brooks to be called out of retirement so she can figure out a way to avoid prosecuting Entrekin for anything.