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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Embarrassing the rising sun

It is another beautiful Sunday morning in Morgan County Alabama.  How blessed we are to live in a county that has so much going for it.  It is time that we stop the corruption that has taken our county from a model desired place to live to a statewide embarrassment.

That being said we have a warning that folks should be aware of.

Yesterday we blogged about the stop Deputy Sain made in Eva that landed Sain in courthouse security as punishment for doing his job as a road deputy.  We have also heard complaints from residents who travel Highway 55 West and Evergreen Road late at night who say that a person is driving up behind them and ramming their vehicles.  These incidents have been reported to the authorities.  At least one of the persons whose vehicle was rammed lives in Cullman County.  The vehicle was described as either a Crown Vic or possibly a Grand Marquis.  The person Sain stopped in Eva was a Silver SUV. We know of at least one person who lives on 55 East that claims he was stopped by a man in a Crown Vic or a Grand Marquis.   Please be aware of your surroundings while driving late at night.

It is a shame that Deputy Sain is being punished for working hard to protect our roads and our citizens.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

We the Family

There is a lot of talk around Morgan County about Ana and her family.  Talk of cover-ups for drug related issues, upgrades to the homes, new homes in Saraland, use of inmates on their property, Ana helping out the farmer's daughter after he passed her a little cash, family members being picked up at crack houses while others go to jail, and that does not include all the nasty comments that ended up on before and after the first election.

We are not responsible for our families' actions.  However, the privileges Ana has bestowed on her family members is egregious.  Ana's family members who chose to get involved in the Performance Auto Sales schemes are responsible for their own actions.  On, the other hand the family may very well consider Ana's position as sheriff an entitlement.  Especially if they commit a crime and Ana goes in and cleans the mess up for them.  

Not only does Ana's family have entitlements to the sheriff's office, so does her son-in-law's family. Timothy Allan Hall was convicted of vehicular homicide in Limestone County. Sheriff Franklin placed an in-house hold on Hall ensuring that he will never see the walls of prison. Instead of prison Hall spends more time out of jail in Morgan County than he does in jail.  Another family member has been arrested in Limestone County multiple times and convicted of crimes yet Ana hired him as a corrections officers.  

Ana's family is right to feel like they have an entitlement.  They do.  They are entitled to do anything they want because Mama Ana will get them out of the poop they find themselves in.  The question is who will get Ana out of the poop she's in?

We all have issues within our family.  Each of us must deal with our own set of family issues.  Mine has certainly been laid out for all to see but in the scheme of things, I would still rather have my problem than Ana's problem.  As to my grandson Daniel Lockhart.  I forgive Daniel for each and everything he did.  When the time is right each, every issue will be laid out for the people of our county to decide for themselves what really happened between the whistleblower and the sheriff, and why the whistleblower became the whistleblower.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Rebuilding and growing our county

Blogger Comments:  Sheriff Ana Franklin has done a lot to destroy the image of our County.  It's true that she can't be blamed for everything wrong in our county but she deserves a lot of blame for tarnishing our good reputation.  For the first four years, she had the people of our county believing that we had massive problems with METH.  I am not minimizing the war on METH it was/is a serious problem.  However, Franklin claimed she busted more than 1000 METH labs one year.  In reality, the lie was an egregious lie because the entire state had not reported the number of METH labs that year that Franklin claimed for Morgan County only.  I blogged the State statistics in previous blogs and the enormity of Franklin's lies.

Franklin has been engrossed in controversy since taking office in January 2011.  She has been blasted all over media for her infamous drug bust, firing of employees, multiple lawsuits, and investing in the Title Marts with Greg Steenson, and her ex-lover Steven Ziaja.  

Once Sheriff Franklin is indicted for her crimes she has committed, our beautiful county can begin the healing process.  We are very disappointed in the fact that our first female sheriff has disgraced not her reputation about our communities and our county.  Franklin holds out hope that because she is a woman law enforcement will be soft on her.  You do the crime you should do the time man or woman.  Ask any number of inmates and ex-inmates that have been in the MCSO jail if the jail was soft on them.  You will find that Sheriff Franklin has only been soft on drug dealers, manufacturers, distributors, and murders.  Many of which have spent more time outside of the jail as they have inside the jail.  Some of those inmates worked on both Sheriff Ana Franklin and Judge Howell's house.  Want to know why Sheriff Ana Franklin is so angry with ex-warden Leon Bradley? Bradley knew about the inmates that were being sent out on work release, some of which were very bad people. 

Long: Morgan County must grow, 
  • By Evan Belanger Staff Writer

    Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long on Thursday said local officials must find a way to grow the county’s population in order to bolster sagging revenues.
    “We’re missing something that keeps us from being a place where everybody wants to run to live,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of vacant land, but I don’t really know what’s holding us back.”
    Long pointed to key economic indicators that suggest the county should be growing. He noted its 4.1 percent unemployment rate, down from 6.1 percent in January. The statewide unemployment rate is 5.4 percent.
    He also pointed to the recent announcements that Wolverine Tube plans to re-open, creating 250 jobs, and Dynetics Inc. plans to open an aerospace facility in Morgan County.
    “We’re getting jobs off that, but we’re not moving people in,” he said, adding the county needs more rooftops to generate tax revenue.
    According to the Alabama Center for Real Estate, housing starts were down during the first half of 2017, falling from 177 last year to 92 this year. 
    Long said he and area mayors have been working together in an attempt to address the slow population growth. For the time being, those efforts have focused mostly on identifying obstacles, he said.
    “Before we can actually change the trend, we’ve got to figure out what the problem is,” he said.
    He said Decatur must find a way to stop losing residents and growing communities such as Priceville must find ways to be more attractive to people from outside the county. Much of the residential relocation in recent years has been between cities inside the county, he said.
    From 2010 to 2016, Morgan County lost 474 residents, falling to 119,012, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
    Over the same period, Decatur, the largest city in Morgan County, lost 611 residents, dropping from 55,683 to 55,072. That’s a decline of about 1 percent of the city’s total population.
    Meanwhile, a projection from the Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research predicts Limestone County will surpass Morgan County in terms of population by 2040.
    That report predicts Limestone County will pick up 46,834 residents between 2010 and 2040. That’s a population increase of 56.6 percent for a total of 129,617 residents.
    Long said local officials discussed that study with University of Alabama officials during a meeting with mayors several weeks ago and plan to meet with them again.
    Decatur City Council President Chuck Ard said city, school, utility and development officials are aware that growth is essential and that they are working to stimulate population growth with an array of projects, including two new high schools, new sewer access along Beltline Road, and a study to determine the feasibility of a sports complex and event center on Alabama 20.
    “I don’t think there’s a silver bullet out there. It’s going to be several different things,” he said.
    Meanwhile, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling set a goal of growing the city’s population by 1,000 residents by 2020. That population growth, he estimated, would support the construction of 500 new homes in the city.
    “We need some developers to step up, but I do think we are right on the cusp,” he said.
    Trinity Mayor Vaughn Goodwin said much of the county is primed for growth, noting the ongoing construction of a 36,000-square-foot athletic facility there, new recreational soccer fields, and the possibility of a new school in the future.
    “The key is schools and quality of life,” he said, noting a surge of new home construction when the new Priceville High School opened.
    From 2010 through 2016, Trinity’s population grew 8 percent. That’s about 154 new residents in the town of 2,164 people.
    Long’s call to action comes as the county faces a particularly lean budget year. The commission will consider later this month a proposed budget that calls for cutting $310,000 from nonprofit appropriations. It predicts a 3.4 percent decline in revenue.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Sumter County 2016

    Sumter County sheriff found guilty, ousted from office
    Kelsey Davis, Montgomery AdvertiserPublished 1:34 p.m. CT July 27, 2016 | Updated 5:31 p.m. CT July 27, 2016

    Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange discusses Sumter County Sheriff's impeachment. Kelsey Davis/Montgomery Advertiser

    Alabama Supreme Court Justices have found Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark guilty of willful neglect of duty and corruption in office.
    Their decision signals Clark’s automatic removal from his position, to which he was elected in 2011.
    Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said this was the first time in 44 years that a sheriff has been impeached.
    "It’s extraordinarily rare, but it’s extraordinarily important because a violation of public trust by a law enforcement official is about the highest level of corruption I can imagine," Strange said.
    A litany of allegations against Clark were fleshed out during his trial. Most of them centered around Clark's friendship with Rodney Coats – an inmate at the Sumter County Prison who was made a “trustee.”
    Inmate trustees are typically low-risk, nonviolent offenders, said Assistant Attorney General Megan Kirkpatrick during her opening arguments on Monday. By contrast, Coats has eight criminal charges pending against him with a bond totaling $675,000.

    Because of his "trustee" status, Coats was granted special privileges. But Coats' privileges went beyond what is normally granted to an inmate trustee.
    A former chief deputy to Clark testified Tuesday that Coats had unsupervised access to what was known around the jail as “Coats' Quarters,” located in the administration building.
    Found in “Coats' Quarters” was a television, bus seats from Clark’s old campaign bus, a couch, a toolbox and a laptop labeled “Sheriff” that Coats used to monitor his drug operation from jail, testimony indicated.
    One woman testified Monday that she was held against her will in a trailer controlled by Coats, which was equipped with surveillance cameras that fed into his jail laptop. She said she was regularly made to bring drugs to Coats in his quarters, where he and other detention officers raped her. She also accused Clark of sexual assault.
    Clark denied her allegation, as well as being aware that she had been brought to Coats.
    He was also found guilty of allowing Coats and other inmates to leave the jail to go work on his house or perform other jobs for community members. Under cross-examination, Clark admitted to knowing this was a crime when he allowed it to happen.

    Defense counsel argued during trial that Clarks’ case was one of small town politics that had been blown out of proportion.
    “This case illustrates a conspiracy by political opponents by the sheriff who were sore losers,” said defense attorney Robert Tuten during closing statements Wednesday. “They couldn’t beat him in an election, and attempted to knock him out of office so they could take his place.”
    The investigation into Clark's activities was initiated by the Sumter County District Attorney's Office. Any criminal charges brought against Clark would be a separate matter. Sumter County District Attorney Greg Griggers said he could not comment on any ongoing criminal investigations pertaining to Clark.

    How long does it take to conduct a real investigation?

    Blogger Comments:  The Sheriff Ana Franklin goons only know one kind of investigation.  Bones-style investigations only take a day or so.   A real investigation does not work as quickly as Bones 101 investigations.  We found a timeline on one interesting investigation.  Gov Rod Blagojevich was charged with and convicted of abuse of power.   Wow! It took longer than a day.  Who would have thought it?  The sad part about Blagojevich is that he can’t hold a candle to Sheriff Franklin. Franklin has been partaking of the MCSO money since 2013.  Franklin has property in Saraland.  Franklin has abused her power.  Franklin has committed Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.  

    Timeline of the Blagojevich investigation

    On Jan. 9, 2009, the Illinois House voted to impeach then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich for abuse of power. Just weeks later, on Jan. 29, the Senate followed with a 59-0 vote, removing Blagojevich from office. Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn was sworn in as the state's 41st governor.
    Gov. Rod Blagojevich became the state's first Democratic chief executive in more than a quarter of a century after vowing to reform what he labeled the culture of corruption surrounding his predecessor that had fed deep cynicism among Illinoisans.
    But little more than a year after replacing George Ryan in office in 2003, Blagojevich found his administration at the early stages of what became a host of state and federal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing involving state hiring, board appointments, contracting and fundraising that battered his tenure.
    In their prosecution of Blagojevich fundraisers and allies, dubbed "Operation Board Games," federal prosecutors detailed a scheme that began only months after Blagojevich took office in which top fundraiser and adviser Antoin "Tony" Rezko conspired with longtime GOP government apparatchik Stuart Levine to split kickbacks from a state pension deal. Rezko also helped ensure Levine's reappointment to a state pension board.
    As part of the investigation, in which 13 people have been indicted or convicted, kickbacks were often the prescribed price of doing high-level business, be it the pension board for state teachers or the panel that decided whether hospitals could expand their facilities. And the extortion efforts went beyond merely enriching the participants to include soliciting campaign funds for Blagojevich.
    At the same time, as Blagojevich began gearing up for his 2006 re-election bid, the clouds of scandal grew deeper. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald acknowledged federal prosecutors had spent more than a year investigating fraud in state hiring that involved "multiple state agencies" and developed "a number of credible witnesses." Federal prosecutors also were looking into a $1,500 check written to one of Blagojevich's children by the husband of a recently appointed state worker.
    In the month before Blagojevich was re-elected, Rezko was indicted on corruption charges while his ally, Levine, pleaded guilty to wringing cash from firms seeking state business. Federal prosecutors also were alleging Rezko and Christopher Kelly, another top fundraiser and adviser to the governor, had been influence peddling. Kelly later was indicted on unrelated federal tax charges.
    They also began investigating real estate deals by First Lady Patricia Blagojevich in which she received hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions from politically connected clients, some of whom won millions of dollars in state business.
    As prosecutors won a conviction in June of this year on Rezko's corruption charges, they also began climbing the ladder of Blagojevich's inner circle. In October, the Tribune disclosed that John Wyma, the governor's longtime friend, former congressional chief of staff and major state lobbyist, was named in a subpoena over his work for a hospital client.
    On Friday, the Tribune disclosed Wyma was cooperating with federal authorities and his cooperation led to investigators recording the governor.
    Here is a timeline of the investigation:
    June 7, 2004: Stuart Levine, a longtime Republican reappointed to the powerful Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, abruptly resigns on the eve of several important hospital expansion votes. The revelation is the first indication that the Blagojevich administration is under federal criminal investigation.
    June 27, 2004: The Tribune discloses that an official for one hospital seeking permission to expand was wearing a federal bug during meetings in an effort to expose extortion attempts by Levine and others for contributions to Blagojevich.
    July 2, 2004: Levine resigns from his seat on the board of the state Teachers' Retirement System. It remains undisclosed that federal authorities had secretly taped Levine's conversations.
    May 9, 2005: Levine is indicted on corruption charges. Federal subpoenas are issued to numerous administration sources, including top Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko
    May 20, 2005: The governor's office acknowledges to the Tribune that Rezko has an ongoing eight-year professional relationship with Patricia Blagojevich's home-based real estate brokerage, River Realty Inc.
    Sept 15, 2005: Prominent Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari and a former lawyer for the state's teacher's pension board pleads guilty in an extortion scheme that steered state pension business to favored companies in exchange for campaign contributions to a high-ranking public official described in court documents only as "Public official A."
    Oct. 25, 2005: The Tribune discloses a federal grand jury investigation into the alleged political hiring practices of the Blagojevich administration, including the governor's top hiring aide, Joseph Cini.
    Sept. 10, 2006: The Tribune reveals that the FBI is investigating allegations by a one-time Blagojevich family friend that she had concerns her state job may have come in return for a $1,500 personal check her husband wrote to one of Blagojevich's children.
    Sept. 17, 2006: The Tribune reports that the Blagojevich administration skirted state hiring rules to give jobs to at least 360 people whose applications were sent through back channels by the governor's offices and politically connected officials.
    Aug. 5, 2006: The Tribune reports that Levine is cooperating with the federal investigation of state government.
    Oct. 11, 2006: Blagojevich confidant and top fundraiser Rezko is indicted on federal charges he sought millions of dollars in kickbacks and campaign donations from firms seeking state business.
    Oct. 27, 2006: Political insider Levine pleads guilty in a scheme to squeeze millions of dollars from firms seeking state business. In court papers, federal authorities spell out allegations that Rezko and another schemer, identified by sources as Blagojevich confidant and top fundraiser Christopher Kelly, were using their influence for corrupt purposes.
    Oct. 27, 2006: The Tribune reveals that Blagojevich's wife, Patricia, earned more than $113,000 in real estate commissions in 2006 through a woman with a no-bid state contract whose banker husband--a major Blagojevich fundraiser--has business pending before state regulators. Both the FBI and the Cook County state's attorney's office begin investigations.
    March 9, 2007: Cook County prosecutors charge the woman, Anita Mahajan, with billing the state for more than $2 million in services her drug-screening firm never performed.
    March 14, 2007: The Tribune reveals Mahajan's husband, Amrish, is the driving force behind his wife's company and helped raise more than a half million dollars for Blagojevich's campaigns since 2001.
    April 8, 2007: Tribune reports that a close business associate of Amrish Mahajan, Amrit Patel, hosted a fundraiser for Blagojevich and was involved in a real estate deal with Patricia Blagojevich, while seeking to expand his Dunkin' Donuts business into the state's tollway oases. The deal was never consummated.
    May 23, 2007: The Tribune reveals that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records from Blagojevich's campaign fund as part of the sweeping corruption probe into whether top aides and advisers exchanged state business and jobs for political support.
    Nov. 4, 2007: A Tribune investigation reveals that influential lobbyist John Wyma, a longtime Blagojevich friend and confidant, bought a $650,000 home from one of his clients that sent real estate commissions of more than $30,000 to the governor's wife. The client, Mark Wight, later won $10 million in state road contracts.
    Dec. 7: 2007: The Tribune reports that authorities are investigating Patricia Blagojevich's real estate business as part of their three-year corruption probe into allegations of favoritism and fraud within the administration.
    Dec. 13, 2007: Kelly, a Chicago area businessman and chief Blagojevich fundraiser, is indicted on unrelated federal tax evasion charges involving huge gambling losses.
    March 6, 2008: The federal trial of Rezko begins.
    April 22, 2008: Ali Ata, appointed by Blagojevich as executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, admits buying the $127,000 job by contributing to the governor's campaign, pleads guilty to obstruction of justice and agrees to cooperate.
    April 26, 2008: A Tribune investigation reveals at least three of every four $25,000 donors to Blagojevich got something from the administration--including jobs, contracts or favorable regulatory rulings.
    June 4, 2008: After nearly three months of testimony that lays bare some of the innermost workings of the Blagojevich administration, Rezko is convicted of using his political ties to the governor to orchestrate a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.
    May 31, 2008: Lawmakers pass ethics reforms targeted directly at Blagojevich and his record-setting efforts to collect campaign contributions from state contractors.
    July 30, 2008: The Tribune reports that in the month since lawmakers passed an ethics bill outlawing the governor's ability to take donations from state contractors, the governor ramped up his efforts by collecting more than a quarter of a million dollars from those with business before the state.
    Aug. 25, 2008: Blagojevich vetoes the ethics bill saying he wants it to be tougher and to include lawmakers as well as him.
    Oct. 19, 2008: The Tribune reports that more than three quarters of the $700,000 in real estate commissions earned by Patricia Blagojevich's home-based sales company since 2000 came from state contractors, Blagojevich's family and others with political ties.
    Oct. 23, 2008: The Tribune reports that Wyma, the longtime friend and former congressional chief of staff to Blagojevich, is under investigation by federal authorities, who are probing his lobbying activity for at least one hospital client.
    Oct. 30, 2008: Springfield millionaire and longtime political power broker William Cellini, who for four decades played an enormous role in Illinois' political leadership, is indicted on charges he extorted campaign contributions for Blagojevich.
    Dec. 5, 2008: The Tribune reveals that federal authorities have made covert tape recordings of Blagojevich and that Wyma has cooperated with investigators.
    Dec. 9, 2008: F.B.I agents arrest Blagojevich and his chief of staff at their homes on a broad array of corruption charges, including asking for favors in exchange for his selection of a replacement in the senate for President-elect Barack Obama.
    Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune

    Then and Now

    Blogger Comments:  Then and Now reflections of Bentley, Strange, Franklin.  

    Governor Robert J. Bentley - Then

    Robert J. Bentley   
    Robert Julian Bentley is an American politician and medical doctor who served as the 53rd Governor of Alabama from 2011 until 2017. A member of the Republican Party, Bentley was elected governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014. Wikipedia
    BornFebruary 3, 1943 (age 74), Columbiana, AL
    SpouseDianne Bentley (m. 1965–2015)
    Political partyRepublican
    Years of service1969–1975
    Previous officeGovernor of Alabama (2011–2017)

    Ex-Governor - Now

    7 things to know about Robert Bentley

    Ana Franklin bio - Then  
    ·  Jan 19, 2011 

    Top of Form
    Bottom of Form

    Ana Franklin

    Age: 46

    Political Party: Republican

    Residence: Priceville

    Family: Daughters, Erika Nicole and Alyssa Marie

    Church: First United Methodist Church of Hartselle

    Term of office: Four years

    Annual salary: $66,410.24

    Budget for the department and jail: about $8 million

    Employees: 185

    Sheriff Ana Franklin - Now

    Federal judge finds Morgan County sheriff in contempt, resolves issue with fine

    Luther Strange - Then

    Luther Strange
    Luther Johnson Strange III is an American lawyer and politician, who is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Alabama. He is running to keep Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions's seat. Wikipedia
    BornMarch 1, 1953 (age 64), Birmingham, AL
    Previous officeAttorney General of Alabama (2011–2017)
    Appointed byRobert Bentley
    Political partyRepublican

    Luther Strange - Now after being in the bed with the devil - Ex-Luv Gov Bentley - More to come

    Trump congratulates Moore, Strange in Alabama GOP primary