The citizens of Morgan County have overwhelmingly let the Decatur Daily know that they do not believe that Sheriff Ana Franklin's use of inmate food funds is acceptable. We are speaking of a minimum of $160,000.00 dollars. Are we to assume on that infamous warm June day in 2015 is the only time Sheriff Ana Franklin withdrew funds from one of the sheriffs account for her on personal gain? We know that the sheriff's office has paid a lot of the posse expense for the fancifully rodeo events out of sheriffs office funds that did not include the posse funds.
How much money has Franklin taken out of the sheriff's accounts to pay for lavish upgrades on family owned homes, vehicles, trips, clothing, and more that had absolutely to do with running the sheriffs office business? We believe that it will be well over a million dollars. Most of us have to pay our bills with our own money. We live from pay check to pay check, we don't drive new vehicles, we don't have laundry service, we have nothing but ourselves to depend on, and we don't drive company vehicles. That is how life is. We struggle to make ends meet.
Morgan County Sheriffs Office employees have been cheated out of pay for six years. They may never see their back pay. Who will have to find the money to pay the employees for the time they have worked without pay? What about the trauma each employee feels when they leave their homes to go to work fearing that they may be the next employee to be fired. Franklin has made it clear that she trust no one within the sheriff's office except for Bones Wilson, Blake Robinson, the Berzett's, Goodwin's, and Livingston's. Each of these people answer directly to Sheriff Franklin. How has Mrs. Berzett been able to manage the sheriffs office accounts to ensure that Sheriff Franklin did not misappropriate moneys from the Sheriff's Office on her watch. Mrs. Berzett is a subcontractor to the sheriff. If the sheriff misappropriated funds under her watch will Mrs. Berzett be granted immunity? How about Bones and the rest of the thugs will they be granted immunity.
Most of us here in Morgan County, Alabama were not raised wealthy, many of us came from poor beginnings and when we leave this world we are going to leave with the same thing we came in with. Nothing.
Some of our bloggers are under criminal investigation will they be granted immunity.
Franklin had three copies of the Lockhart's seized computers mirrored. This information has been verified. What did Franklin do with the two hard drives that were not sent to the forensics lab? We already know what she did. Franklin denies taking out boxes of documents yet two witnesses to the raid claims they were taken. What did Franklin do with those boxes?
Sure we make mistakes but we would not be allowed to get away with the things that Franklin has done.
Now to the Inmates.
Most of the inmates in the Morgan County Jail came from broken families, poor families, many of them have drug addiction problems, and many suffer mental illness. The inmates are not getting proper care and adequate food in many cases. Their punishment is being in jail. Their punishment should not be hunger. When was the last time an inmate was served a real potato? When was the last time an inmate received a nutritional meal planned by a nutritionist? We know of one mentally ill man who is sitting in the Morgan County Jail right now who has lost over 100 lbs. How many inmates are sitting in the jail who have been neglected and under fed? Many of the inmates' families want to know how well their loved one is being treated. So do we.
When Greg Bartlett was in office he was arrested for his part in not providing inmates with adequate nutritional meals. Bartlett paid the price. At the time Bartlett took inmate food funds it was legal in Morgan County to do so. Many of the employees who worked under Bartlett also said that at the end of the year when Bartlett took the money, each employee received approximately $300.00 out of the food funds. In other words he did not keep all of the money for himself. In our view taking inmate food funds in any county in the State of Alabama is wrong and the laws should be changed. Our hope is that if anything good comes from the theft of the food funds from Sheriff Ana Franklin, it is that no county within the State of Alabama is allowed to take food funds ever again.
On the other hand some inmates, especially the ones Franklin favors such as the drug dealers, are allowed to work outside the jail. We know of one inmate who worked nights at the sheriff's house, they have worked at Judge Howell's house, and they have served liquor at special events favored by Franklin. Yet, many of the inmates that need to pay their fines, child support, and other debts linger in jail for months and years.
We were poor but we had love, a song by Loretta Lynn that could make all of us think about the difference between love and money.