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Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Poem - Happy Thanksgiving To All



A Thanksgiving Poem

 - 1872-1906
The sun hath shed its kindly light,
   Our harvesting is gladly o’er
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
   Our bins are filled with goodly store.
From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
   We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
   We come to pay our thanks to thee.
We feel that had our merits been
   The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
   Might not now be rejoicing thus.
No deed of our hath brought us grace;
   When thou were nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
   But thou, O God, wert merciful.
Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
   Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
   From heaven, whence all blessings flow.
Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
   Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
   Hast scattered plenty everywhere.
Then lift we up our songs of praise
   To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
   Be thine the temple of each mind.
With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
   Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
   We could not thank thee for them all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Another police-involved ethics violation

BLOGGER COMMENTS:   Maybe I'm seeing patterns that do really exist, BUT  pastors and ethics violations,  evidence room misuse and ethics violations.  No known connection, as Paul Harvey used to say right before he hinted at one.  Another one has chosen to resign and turned himself in for the arrest but Treherne is both a pastor and evidence misuse.  Seems like there was a similar problem right here in Morgan County.  Remember? 
Alabama deputy arrested on felony ethics charge
A veteran law enforcement officer was arrested Tuesday on felony charges.
Dallas County sheriff’s Sgt. John Treherne is charged with use of office for personal gain and third-degree theft, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Authorities said Treherne is accused of paying for mechanical work he had done with property that was stored as evidence in a case.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. Jackson said Treherne’s bond is set at $40,000.
The case was investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum said the alleged wrongdoing happened under the previous sheriff’s administration. Granthum said he received information about the possible crime and immediately began to investigate. Once they realized there was truth to the information, they summoned SBI to take over.
He said Treherne, who also is a pastor, resigned at 8 a.m. Tuesday after learning that warrants had been issued for his arrest. After resigning, he surrendered to the Dallas County Jail.
Treherne had worked for the Selma Police Department for about 10 years, and the sheriff’s office for 16 years. He said news of his arrest came as a shock to many in the sheriff’s office and beyond. "He’s like a brother to a lot of them,'' he said. “A lot of people are surprised. They’re having a hard time understanding it due to his character in the past. There were no warning signs or anything.”
However, Granthum said, all wrongdoing will be investigated whether it’s a law enforcement officer or not. "This is something that can’t go on,'' he said. “I will not have it.”

Monthly Editorial Review

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  The A P publishes a monthly roundup of interesting and important newspaper editorials.  The Decatur Daily made the cut with its editorial on Ana's legal issues.  In case you missed it, here it is again.  The link is for all three of the editorials.

https://apnews.com/467160bb65ad48a6aa1ede870f164e19

Nov. 20
The Decatur Daily on the end of recent legal battles for former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin:
When Ana Franklin was elected Morgan County sheriff in 2010, there was the hope she would restore the office’s reputation, which had suffered under her predecessor, Greg Bartlett.
Bartlett had spent a night in jail after violating a court order regarding the feeding and care of jail inmates. That was all part of a larger situation involving a state law that, at the time, allowed sheriffs to pocket money left over from feeding inmates as personal income.
Bartlett earned the nickname “Sheriff Corndog” for a period in which he fed jail inmates corn dogs and little else after getting a truckload of the carnival staple for a pittance.
After finishing a close second to Bartlett in the 2010 Republican primary, Franklin went on to defeat him in the runoff, winning 53.4% of the vote. She would easily dispatch her Democratic opponent in the general election.
Franklin’s first term seemed to go smoothly, and she won the 2014 GOP primary in a landslide, with 79% of the vote. She had no Democratic opposition.
It was then that things started to take a turn, and by the end of Franklin’s second term, her legal problems involved a bankrupt car dealership, lawsuits and a federal investigation. Ironically, it also involved violating the same court order that had landed Bartlett in jail, opening the door to Franklin’s successful challenge for the office.
Franklin did not seek a third term in last year’s election, and she was succeeded by Ron Puckett, but the book on her tenure as Morgan County sheriff didn’t truly close until the past few weeks.
That’s when Franklin settled lawsuits with a critic and her former jail warden for searches of their homes.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a website critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said earlier this month. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
Franklin also entered a plea agreement to end her federal tax case.
Franklin pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor charge of willful failure to file a tax return in January and was sentenced last month to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. An Oct. 21 order outlined the terms of the probation, including the prohibition on her possessing firearms.
Franklin successfully argued last week to have the firearm provision revised so she can keep one gun at home for personal protection.
Despite the best of hopes, Morgan County has now had two sheriffs leave office in disgrace.
We hope Sheriff Puckett puts an end to that trend.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Sad Day in Lowndes.County

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  An 18-year-old thug is about to find out that killing a cop is Capital Murder.  IMO, this one will end up on Death Row.  Meanwhile, the outpouring of grief in this mostly poor county is genuine and deserved.  RIP, Sheriff Williams.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams became the fifth Alabama law enforcement officer to be killed by gunfire in the line of duty this year.
Sheriff John Williams Tribute
From the Al.com story: “Williams, affectionately known as “Big John” and described as a pillar in his profession and in the community where he grew up and served, was shot after he responded to a call at a convenience store in Hayneville Saturday night.

Montgomery teen held without bond in murder of Lowndes County sheriff

An 18-year-old charged in the murder of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams made his initial court appearance Monday morning in Lowndes District Court in Hayneville.
William Chase Johnson, of Montgomery, entered the courtroom in black and white striped jail clothes flanked by two state troopers.
Crenshaw County District Judge Tom Sport handled the proceeding, which lasted only a few minutes.
Sport advised Johnson of the murder charge and asked Johnson if he would hire an attorney or if he needed the court to appoint one. Johnson shook his head, indicating he did not know.
Sport ordered Johnson held without bond. Sport said he would schedule a preliminary hearing in the case after Johnson has a lawyer.
Johnson was led out of the courthouse after the hearing. He has been held in the Elmore County jail.
Williams was shot to death outside the QV convenience store in Hayneville about 8 p.m. Saturday. Johnson surrendered to authorities at the crime scene a few hours later, ending an hours-long manhunt.
The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case and has not released any information about the circumstances of the shooting.
Sport, a Crenshaw County District Judge, was appointed to preside over the case after Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson recused himself, court records show. Also on Monday, Sport issued a gag order instructing Johnson, his attorneys, and prosecutors not to talk to the media.

A Republican Sheriff Goes to Jail! Amazing!

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  OK, so he was a Democrat until 2017.  Maybe that explains it.  Or it could be his crimes were so outrageous (including sacrilege) that to administer the usual Republican 'slap-on-the-wrist' would be unacceptable.  Eighteen months doesn't sound like much but it ain't beanbag either, depends on whether you're outside looking in or inside looking out.

Ex-Alabama sheriff gets 18 months in federal prison


A former Alabama sheriff who scammed a food bank and church and pocketed leftover money meant for feeding inmates was sentenced Monday to federal prison.
Former Pickens County Sheriff David Abston, 68, was sentenced to 18 months, despite asking for leniency after pleading guilty four months ago to two federal crimes - wire fraud and filing a false tax return.
“Sheriff Abston is truly ashamed, contrite and remorseful for the crimes he has committed,’’ his attorneys wrote last week in requesting home confinement and community service rather than federal prison. “Sheriff Abston’s shame and remorse is deepened by the fact that he has proudly and dutifully served as a law enforcement officer for 41 years, including over 10 years in which he also served in the National Guard as a Military Police Officer. He full accepts his responsibility for his misdeeds, and he also recognizes that there must be consequences for his actions.”
Federal prosecutors requested Abston be sentenced to 18 months in prison in addition to being ordered to pay $86,335.57 to the food bank Abston victimized “to the detriment of the needy people in Pickens County that the food bank serves.
"Abston tarnished his office and his badge,” said Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town. “He found out today he isn’t above the law. Those who believe they are will find themselves in federal prison.”
“While the vast majority of law enforcement officers are honest and work hard to uphold the law, Abston misused his position of trust for personal gain and will now reap the consequences of his actions,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.
Abston’s lawyers released this statement following the sentencing: “It is the privilege of this law firm to represent Sheriff David Abston. While Sheriff Abston is deeply disappointed in today’s sentence, he has accepted responsibility for the wrong he committed and respects the court’s decision imposing consequences for his actions. He will serve his sentence, do what good he can during his period of incarceration, and then return to the community he loves to continue his life of community involvement. Sheriff Abston and his family are thankful for the support and encouragement they have received over the last several months. They know that with the continued support of their friends and community and Sheriff Abston’s personal faith in God, they will make it through this difficult time.”

Holiday Slowdown

It's great how life seems to go a little slower during the holidays.  With Thanksgiving coming up this week we can think of many things to give thanks for.  We had our beautiful Mother and Dad for 81 years.  We had our brother for 64 years, and we had our beautiful son for 29 years.  Some say we have had a few tough years.  Our loss is tremendous but we are believers and we know we will meet again someday.

Our love is unwavering and again this year we will cherish our time with family, friends, and loved ones.

We are also thankful that Morgan County is a better place to live today than it was for 8 long years.  We will continue to watch and wait from dumb and dumber to stick their foolish heads up again.  We are constantly aware of Sheriff Blakely and his indictment issues.  We also see that the Pickens County Sheriff wants all of his issues to just go away.

Tragically we see that the Loudens County Sheriff who was a well-respected man was shot and killed by an 18-year-old thug with a gun.

There is good and bad in law enforcement just as in any other field.  We in Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, Marshall had a few bad years of incompetence and thugs.  We realize there are some criticisms of our current sheriff but he is still learning and growing in his on right.

Keep your spirits up and find things to make you happy.  Buy a ham or turkey and give it to someone less fortunate.  It makes you feel better.  I promise.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Whoopee-Ti-Yi-Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-!


So…you want to buy a goat? Sheriff’s office has some for sale


Want a goat?

If your Christmas list involves a goat, you may be in luck.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office has a goat sale planned for Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena on Highway 99.
The Sheriff’s Department found a herd of 22 goats off New Cut Road on Nov. 8 but have been unsuccessful in finding the owner. If you have any information on the goats, you can call 256-232-0111.
BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Sheriff Blakley may have found another way to make traveling money.  The goats will be at the Arena anyway.  Why not a goat rodeo?  Admission is five 'bucks'.  Afterward, goat Bar-B-Q!  

The Ana Era Shuffles to an End with Her Reputation in Tatters

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  An editorial in today's Daily sums up the decline and fall of Ana's Empire.  Actually the 'empire' was all in her mind, a plan to take over Morgan County as her own profit center.  As we find in most cases of high fliers who crash and burn, they carry with them the seeds to their own destruction.

Our View

Editorial: Final chapter closes in Franklin saga


The Issue

Ana Franklin began her tenure was Morgan County sheriff with high hopes but ended it just as her predecessor did, leaving office in disgrace.
When Ana Franklin was elected Morgan County sheriff in 2010, there was the hope she would restore the office’s reputation, which had suffered under her predecessor, Greg Bartlett.
Bartlett had spent a night in jail after violating a court order regarding the feeding and care of jail inmates. That was all part of a larger situation involving a state law that, at the time, allowed sheriffs to pocket money left over from feeding inmates as personal income.
Bartlett earned the nickname “Sheriff Corndog” for a period in which he fed jail inmates corn dogs and little else after getting a truckload of the carnival staple for a pittance.
After finishing a close second to Bartlett in the 2010 Republican primary, Franklin went on to defeat him in the runoff, winning 53.4% of the vote. She would easily dispatch her Democratic opponent in the general election.
Franklin’s first term seemed to go smoothly, and she won the 2014 GOP primary in a landslide, with 79% of the vote. She had no Democratic opposition.
It was then that things started to take a turn, and by the end of Franklin’s second term, her legal problems involved a bankrupt car dealership, lawsuits and a federal investigation. Ironically, it also involved violating the same court order that had landed Bartlett in jail, opening the door to Franklin’s successful challenge for the office.
Franklin did not seek a third term in last year’s election, and she was succeeded by Ron Puckett, but the book on her tenure as Morgan County sheriff didn’t truly close until the past few weeks.
That’s when Franklin settled lawsuits with a critic and her former jail warden for searches of their homes.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a website critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said earlier this month. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
Franklin also entered a plea agreement to end her federal tax case.
Franklin pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor charge of willful failure to file a tax return in January and was sentenced last month to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. An Oct. 21 order outlined the terms of the probation, including the prohibition on her possessing firearms.
Franklin successfully argued last week to have the firearm provision revised so she can keep one gun at home for personal protection.
Despite the best of hopes, Morgan County has now had two sheriffs leave office in disgrace.
We hope Sheriff Puckett puts an end to that trend.
Blogger Comment:  So do we.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ana Got Her Gun - In her house - In the safe

Blogger Comments:  To quote a friend:  "Wow! It's a mixed bag ruling that I can say is reasonable based on the evidence presented.  It makes me wonder though what kind of sheriff could not have made some arrest with all those pictures and identification."  

Is this the same evidence that Ana took to the FBI and the AG's office?  Keep your guns at home girl don't take your guns to town girl.  Isn't that a song?


Ana gets her gun: Judge drops firearm ban from former sheriff's probation

Posey

Franklin

Gray


HUNTSVILLE — Former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin achieved partial success Tuesday in her effort to modify her probation terms to allow her to possess guns, arguing that numerous intruders on her property have placed her at risk.

    • — eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Update to the Blakely Saga

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Last week all the local channels reported that Blakely's attempt to throw out the charges was denied.  Therefore, the arraignment will go on as originally scheduled.  That's tomorrow (the 12th), folks.  !:30 at the Limestone County Courthouse.  If you have some free time, go by and cheer for the home team.  Justice is winning, so far.

Don"t Forget our Veterans Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

This blog goes out to all the great men and women the whistleblower had the honor to work with over her career.  To include LTC Harold Lockhart (Ret), Specialist Daniel Lockhart, COL Douglas Brouillette (Ret), COL Don Jenkins (Ret), Command Sergeant Major Roby Garlen (Ret)(deceased), PFC Levoyd McCrary, deceased, James Paul Roberts Command Chief Master Sergeant (deceased),
Major Jim Lockhart (USAF) (Deceased), (Sergeant First Class Jack Holloway, Sergeant First Class Ronald Coleman, Sergeant Shannon Navarro, CW4 Steve Caudill (Ret), First Sergeant Chuck Forteliza (Ret), AC/2 Lorene Lockhart Butcher (WAAF), AC1 Donald Butcher USAF, and a host of prior employees, officers, and enlisted men and women that the whistleblower was honored to know and work with and for.



Sunday, November 10, 2019

Settled.

Blogger Comments:  There have been a lot of painstaking work that has gone into the blog.  We plan on reinstalling our blogs previously removed in the near future.  We worked hard to set the record straight.  No regrets.  We believe that politicians work for us the citizens.  There have been a lot of Alabama politicians brought up on charges for their misconduct.  Hopefully, more will be forthcoming.  To include Sheriff Blakely.  Anyone that doesn't know about Blakely's gambling habits must have their head in the sand.  

As for the whistleblower, you may wonder what she will do now.  Keep blogging of course.  Writing a tell-all book, stay family-oriented, and continue full force ahead with our business.  

Many of you will say that the whistleblower and Leon rolled.  Not so.  If you read the Daily it is evident that there was a lot going on in the previous sheriff's administration.  Some will be disappointed that these folks got off lightly.  Maybe.  Those are things beyond our control.  We do our best; the legal system does the rest.

Some things that were accomplished is that none of those identified are still in office, and those that chose to follow are no longer in law enforcement.    We have a new sheriff who is doing an outstanding job.  Last but not least we met some outstanding folks that work for the SO that did the right thing.  If you ever have any doubts go back and read the archives of the Decatur Daily, the New York Times, newspapers and magazines around the nation.

The previous sheriff has two years of probation to think about some of the things she did.  In addition, 300 hours of community service, and possibly more.   The real kicker is that the previous sheriff cannot leave North Alabama without permission.  That blows when you are a socialite.  We hope the community service fits the crime.  We know her previous boyfriend had it made in the shade.  We also can't help but wonder if her attorney will ever quit filing additional issues with the Federal Courts.  What a spring butt.


Former Morgan sheriff settles two more lawsuits


  •  

More than three years and thousands of court filings after then-Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin and her deputies coordinated ill-fated searches at the home of her jail warden and the business of a blogger foe, the lawsuits arising from the searches have settled.
The settlements bring to an almost complete end the dizzying array of litigation that surrounded Franklin through much of her second term in office and persisted in the months that followed her departure.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a blog harshly critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said Friday. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
He said Franklin was relieved to have the lawsuits behind her.
"Litigation is no fun, except maybe for the lawyers," he said.
Lockhart on Friday said she also was restricted in commenting.
"The only thing I can say is that I'm glad it's over, but I'd do it again," she said.
In nearly identical one-page documents, the parties to the separate lawsuits stipulated Oct. 31 that all claims should be permanently dismissed, and U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala obliged with dismissal orders.
In addition to Franklin, Wilson and Robinson, Bradley’s lawsuit named the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and information technology employee Justin Powell as defendants. Franklin left office without seeking a third term in January, and none of the defendants remain employed at the Sheriff’s Office.
Bradley’s lawyer, Nick Heatherly, declined to comment, and Brandi Lee, Lockhart’s lawyer, did not return calls.
While the dollar amount of the settlement is confidential, court records show that the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund, the insurer for Morgan County, intervened in both lawsuits and was involved in ongoing mediation.
Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said Friday he had not been informed the cases were over.
“That’s good if they’ve settled,” Long said. “That’s just something the people of Morgan County won’t have to listen to anymore, something else to be cleared up. We’ll be glad to have it over.”
Of the many court proceedings in which Franklin was involved, most as a defendant, only one appears active.
Franklin last month was sentenced to two years probation and 300 hours of community service after she pleaded guilty to willful failure to file an income tax return, a misdemeanor. This case is the only one that is not entirely resolved. Several sealed pleadings have been filed since the federal magistrate judge issued the written order outlining the terms of her probation, which included a prohibition on her possessing firearms. A hearing is scheduled in that case in Huntsville on Tuesday.In September, a lawsuit filed by Franklin, Wilson and Robinson against Bradley and Glenda Lockhart’s grandson, Daniel Lockhart, was dismissed.
That lawsuit, filed in January, also arose indirectly out of the October 2016 searches. It focused on testimony Daniel Lockhart gave in an April 2018 hearing and an order by then-Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson. Thompson’s order determined the searches were illegal, and accepted Lockhart’s testimony that he was a paid informant for the sheriff and had installed keylogger software on his grandmother’s computers. Because the search was illegal, Thompson dismissed a resulting misdemeanor charge that had been filed against Bradley.
The lawsuit by Franklin and the former deputies was thrown out by Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self, who was assigned to the case after all Morgan County judges recused themselves.
In August, Franklin settled a lawsuit brought by Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson seeking to recoup inmate food money he alleged she had illegally placed in a personal bank account. Franklin returned $45,000 of the account’s $55,000 balance to resolve the lawsuit.
In January, Franklin settled a claim by the bankruptcy trustee of Priceville Partners LLC, a now-defunct title loan and used car business. Franklin loaned the company, part owned by convicted felon Greg Steenson, $150,000 in jail-food money.
Her filing of a proof of claim brought to public attention her violation of a 2009 court order prohibiting Morgan County sheriffs from personally benefiting from surplus money designated for feeding inmates. The trustee not only refused to acknowledge her claim as a creditor, he accused her of fraudulent transfers. Franklin settled the claim by agreeing she would only recoup her loan in the unlikely event all unsecured creditors were paid in full, and paying $34,000.
In June 2017, Franklin entered into a settlement of a claim by the Southern Center for Human Rights alleging her loan to Priceville Partners violated the 2009 court order. She refunded the money to the Sheriff’s Office food account and agreed to a $1,000 civil contempt fine.
Steenson remains in Morgan County Jail without bond, awaiting a scheduled Feb. 3 trial on felony counts related to his management of Priceville Partners.— eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.