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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Re-post of Pictures, Checks, And Letter From Billable Barney and the Executive Director, Alabama Sheriffs Association

Blogger Comments:  The Decatur Daily On Line Poll shows that readers overwhelming agree that Franklin should not take Inmate food funds.



We are re-posting the letters from Billable Barney and Robert D. Timmons, Executive Director Alabama Sheriffs Association along with the checks that Billable Barney said was from Franklin's personal account.  Ana you my dear are a liar.  Billable Barney you are also a liar.  We just can't figure which one of you holds the record of lies of the year.  Also, please see the checks billable Barney demanded we remove from out blog.  Sorry Barney these check are releasable under the Alabama Open Records.  Since your lawyer skills has suffered due to Ana Franklin syndrome we provided excerpts from Alabama Code 1975.

 Finally, we have one last thing to discuss for those coming to investigate the Sheriff's Office. Please take note of the required number of jailers.  The jail is seriously undermanned as per the Consent Decree. If the numbers are looked at it includes the dispatchers and the court house security officers as the required number of jailers for the jail.  These employees have no contact, control, or supervision of inmates while performing these other duties.  This situation has caused serious security concerns which have been addressed to the Command Staff and not resolved.  Many of the same employees have by the rules and regulations of the Sheriffs Office that are used only at the discretion of the Sheriff, require for such training like jail management that has not been done.  Training and staffing of the Sheriff's Office Jail and road deputies is badly lacking, and the new addition to the jail has not even opened as of yet.  The upcoming Rodeo is likely to big of a priority to address these and other issues for the Sheriff right now.  

Decatur Daily, January 22, 2017


Retired federal judge says Franklin can't use jail inmate food money for other purposes  
  • By Keith Clines Staff Writer
  •  
  • Updated 

  • Blogger Comments will be seen in blue.
    A retired federal judge who ordered that money the Morgan County sheriff receives to feed jail inmates could be used only for inmate meals said Sheriff Ana Franklin is not complying with a consent decree if she is keeping any of the money to supplement her $68,000 annual salary.
    Franklin said last week that the money used for feeding Morgan County Jail inmates goes in her personal money and is therefore not a public account. The second-term sheriff is of the understanding that any leftover funds in the account after inmates are fed is her own personal money, per state law.
    The sheriff knew full well that the money she was stealing did not belong to her as she claims.  She was smart enough before she took office to ask the County Attorney, Mr. Shinn for an opinion on her ability to use the food funds.
    Franklin denied a public records request filed by The Decatur Daily seeking financial information about the inmate food account.
    Blogger Comments:
    Sheriff Franklin has a history of not releasing information to the public.  There is a reason.  She is a thief.
    Alabama Code 1975
    Section 36-12-2

    Public officers and servants to accurately maintain and preserve from loss, destruction, etc., complete books, papers, files, etc.

    All public officers and servants shall correctly make and accurately keep in and for their respective offices or places of business all such books or sets of books, documents, files, papers, letters and copies of letters as at all times shall afford full and detailed information in reference to the activities or business required to be done or carried on by such officer or servant and from which the actual status and condition of such activities and business can be ascertained without extraneous information, and all of the books, documents, files, papers, letters, and copies of letters so made and kept shall be carefully protected and safely preserved and guarded from mutilation, loss or destruction.
    (Acts 1915, No. 237, p. 287, § 1; Code 1923, §2690; Code 1940, T. 41, §139.)
    Section 36-12-40

    Rights of citizens to inspect and copy public writings; exceptions.

    Every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute. Provided however, registration and circulation records and information concerning the use of the public, public school or college and university libraries of this state shall be exempted from this section. Provided further, any parent of a minor child shall have the right to inspect the registration and circulation records of any school or public library that pertain to his or her child. Notwithstanding the foregoing, records concerning security plans, procedures, assessments, measures, or systems, and any other records relating to, or having an impact upon, the security or safety of persons, structures, facilities, or other infrastructures, including without limitation information concerning critical infrastructure (as defined at 42 U.S.C. §5195c(e) as amended) and critical energy infrastructure information (as defined at 18 C.F.R. §388.113(c)(1) as amended) the public disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety or welfare, and records the disclosure of which would otherwise be detrimental to the best interests of the public shall be exempted from this section. Any public officer who receives a request for records that may appear to relate to critical infrastructure or critical energy infrastructure information, shall notify the owner of such infrastructure in writing of the request and provide the owner an opportunity to comment on the request and on the threats to public safety or welfare that could reasonably be expected from public disclosure on the records.
    (Code 1923, §2695; Code 1940, T. 41, §145; Acts 1983, No. 83-565, p. 866, §3; Act 2004-487, p. 906, §1.)
    Section 36-12-41

    Public officers to provide certified copies of writings upon payment of fees therefor; admissibility in evidence of copies.

    Every public officer having the custody of a public writing which a citizen has a right to inspect is bound to give him, on demand, a certified copy of it, on payment of the legal fees therefor, and such copy is admissible as evidence in like cases and with like effect as the original writing.
    (Code 1923, §2696; Code 1940, T. 41, §147.)
    Ana and Barney these are state laws that apply to the Sheriffs Office and are not superseded by any Federal law or Decree we are aware of.   

    U.W. Clemon, a retired federal judge now practicing law in Birmingham, said last week that if money the sheriff receives to feed inmates is used for other things, it “clearly is” a violation of the amended consent decree he approved in 2009 when Greg Bartlett was sheriff.

    “I enjoined the sheriff of Morgan County, whoever that is, from using any funds that are provided for feeding inmates for anything other than the feeding of inmates,” Clemon said Thursday.
    Before retiring, Clemon presided over a class-action lawsuit filed in 2001 by Morgan County Jail inmates against the county and then-Sheriff Steve Crabbe about jail conditions.
    The Daily on Dec. 15 submitted a written request under the state open records law asking Franklin to provide the newspaper with records from the inmate food account. The request asked for bank statements, banking deposits and withdrawals, checks written on the account, audits of the account and deposits into the account for specific time periods.
    Blogger Comments:  All of the documents requested by the Decatur Daily are releasable to the public.  Under Alabama Code 1975 and do not fall in the criteria of non-resealable public records as is indicated in the code. 
    Franklin’s written reply Wednesday said she declined to furnish the requested documents because state law says “any such account is not considered a public account.” She cited the state law that allows sheriffs in the state to keep money that is not spent on feeding jail inmates, and a 2008 state attorney general’s opinion sought by Etowah County that reaffirmed the law.

    Blogger Comments:  The Etowah County Attorney Opinion 2008-061, dtd March 17, 2008 does reflect that the Etowah County may take inmate food funds as stated in Section 36-22-17 and you will find similar language in section 36-1-10 service allowances.  Section 36-22-17 para 3 goes on to say "Accordingly, based on this longstanding practice, it is the opinion of this office that the sheriff may retain any surplus in the allowances as personal income.

    Franklin forgets that Morgan County, Alabama is under a consent decree that was amended in 2009.  Etowah nor any other county in Alabama has yet been placed under a Federal decent decree that covers inmate food funds.  Franklin further violated the Federal consent decree when she wrote checks on the inmate food funds in June 2015 .  Franklin could not possibly know in June that the inmate food funds was surplus.  The Fiscal year does not end until September 30.  

    The Morgan County jail does not currently have a nutritionist.  The inmates has been boxed potatoes for well over a year.  Franklin has been purchasing more pork because and far less fresh food for the inmates for well over a year.  Acting Sheriff Larry Berzett's comments to one person who applied for a job in the kitchen was that "there just inmates".  We know of individuals in the jail right now that are not getting adequate food to support their medical condition and of one inmate that has lost well over 100 pounds in 16 months.
    In January 2009, Clemon approved an amendment to the consent decree that reads: “The Sheriff of Morgan County shall immediately establish and implement a procedure whereby all funds provided by any source for the feeding of inmates, including funds from the State of Alabama, any municipality, and the federal government, will be used exclusively for the feeding of said inmates incarcerated in the Morgan County Detention Facility."
    Franklin said in her Wednesday letter that she wanted to “emphatically state” that all money remaining in the account for feeding inmates after paying for food and related expenses remains “in any accounts maintained for what you refer to as the ‘Food Account,’ which would consist of more than one account.”
    She also said that her office has been “in complete and full compliance” of the consent decree requirements concerning providing nutritional meals to inmates based on the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid.
    Barney Lovelace, Franklin’s attorney, said Wednesday in an email that state law clearly recognizes the inmate food money as Franklin’s personal account. He said publishing checks or other information from the account would be an invasion of Franklin’s privacy.

    Blogger Comments:  Billable Barney has profited from Franklin's illegal activities since he has represented her for several years.  Ana requested that Barney obtain an opinion of the inmate food funds prior to her taking office. The honorable retired Attorney Bill Shinn representing the County's interest referred Billable Barney and Sheriff Ana Franklin to the Amended Decent Decree that States that the "Morgan County Sheriff " may not partake in the inmate food funds and referenced the Amended 2009 Consent Decree signed by Retired Judge U.W. Clemon.  The consent decree does identify a specific sheriff but goes on to say that the decree is not limited to a specific sheriff.  

    “There is ample legal authority that the disclosure of information from someone’s personal private bank account is actionable as a civil cause of action and also could subject the person who wrongfully obtained and disclosed such information to criminal prosecution,” Lovelace wrote.

    Blogger Comments:  Barney the accounts you refer to are Sheriffs Office Accounts that have paid you well over the years.  I recall at one deposition you made the statement that Sheriff Ana Franklin has made you a rich man.
    Attorneys at the Southern Center for Human Rights said Friday they plan to look into the jail inmate food account, including requesting financial records of the account. The center in Atlanta represented the inmates in the original lawsuit and is the federally appointed monitor in the case.
    Sarah Geraghty, managing attorney at the center, said the center will be interested in the sheriff’s response when the center requests financial information of the account after learning that Franklin had denied releasing the records to The Daily.
    Geraghty called Franklin’s response to The Daily’s records request “cryptic.”
    Geraghty said she hasn’t seen any legal authorization that exempts the inmate food account finances from being open to the public.
    Franklin could not be reached for comment Friday.
    Bobby Timmons, executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, said Thursday he thinks the 2009 order issued by Clemon does not apply to Franklin, and that the inmate food account here is not subject to the open records law.
    “It looks like he addressed that to Morgan County and Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett,” Timmons said.
    Timmons said he’s not sure a federal court order, such as the one issued by Clemon, supersedes the state law allowing sheriffs to keep unspent inmate food money.
    “Federal courts can’t write laws,” he said. “If the courts find that a law is unconstitutional, yes, they can strike that law down. Here, Judge Clemon didn’t rule the state law unconstitutional.”

    Blogger Comments:  The Federal Counts MAY NOT WRITE STATE LAW, however, Retired Judge U.W. Clemon ruled in a Federal Court hearing on behalf of the inmates.  Is Timmons trying to say that Federal Law that protects inmates in jail is unconstitutional?  Is Timmons saying that it is OK to starve the inmates so that county sheriffs can pad their pockets?  Sheriff Mike Blakely has been taking inmate food funds for 30 years.
    Clemon also wrote in the 2009 modified order that the attorneys for the inmates would twice a year conduct unannounced inspections of the jail “and financial records regarding all funds received and expended by the sheriff for the purpose of providing meals” to county jail inmates.
    Attorneys from the center inspect the jail yearly, Geraghty said. She wasn’t sure if inspecting the inmate food account finances has been part of the center’s yearly visit.
    The county paid the center $44,276.88 for legal services in 2001, but has no record of payments since, according to the Morgan County Commission office.
    Bill Shinn, the county’s attorney before retiring this month, in 2011 offered an unofficial opinion that the court order applied to Franklin, who had asked for the opinion between winning the election and taking office.
    Shinn said in 2011 that he gave Lovelace a copy of case law that backed his opinion. Shinn attached a note to the case law referring Lovelace to a federal court procedural rule.

    Blogger Comments:  Both Barney and Franklin new that they could not touch the money.  However, Barney on Franklin's behalf should and could have requested a clarification from the Federal Courts on the Food Funds before taking them.  Franklin has no regard for the law.  We are sure that Franklin has taken far more money that the $160,000.00 we have proven.  We also believe that Franklin has taken far more money from the Sheriffs Office Accounts that we have uncovered.  
    The rule says: “Public Officers; Death or Separation from Office. An action does not abate when a public officer who is a party in an official capacity dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office while the action is pending. The officer's successor is automatically substituted as a party. Later proceedings should be in the substituted party's name, but any misnomer not affecting the parties’ substantial rights must be disregarded. The court may order substitution at any time, but the absence of such an order does not affect the substitution.”
    Geraghty on Friday said the amended consent decree limiting the use of jail inmate food money applies to Franklin.
    “Unless a recent document that I’m not aware of has been filed, the language is binding,” Geraghty said.
    The 2001 lawsuit was filed by a group of county inmates about the conditions in the jail. Defendants included Morgan County, Crabbe, jail administrator Myra Yates, all five Morgan County commissioners by name, Gov. Don Siegelman and state Department of Corrections Commissioner Mike Haley.
    The two sides later in 2001 reached a settlement in the case in which the county agreed to build a new jail and to improve living conditions, health care and diet, security and fire safety, and access to legal materials.
    Clemon amended the consent decree after inmates complained about inadequate meals. Clemon’s order came after sending Bartlett to federal prison for one night in 2009. Bartlett testified during a hearing that he kept about $212,000 over three years from leftover inmate food money.
    The state pays the county $1.75 per inmate for each day a state inmate is in the jail. The federal government pays about $3 per meal for each federal inmate housed there.
    keith.clines@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_KeithClines







      Finally, we have one last thing to discuss for those coming to investigate the Sheriff's Office. Please take note of the required number of jailers.  The jail is seriously undermanned as per the Consent Decree. If the numbers are looked at it includes the dispatchers and the court house security officers as the required number of jailers for the jail.  These employees have no contact, control, or supervision of inmates while performing these other duties.  This situation has caused serious security concerns which have been addressed to the Command Staff and not resolved.  Many of the same employees have by the rules and regulations of the Sheriffs Office that are used only at the discretion of the Sheriff, require for such training like jail management that has not been done.  Training and staffing of the Sheriff's Office Jail and road deputies is badly lacking, and the new addition to the jail has not even opened as of yet.  The upcoming Rodeo is likely to big of a priority to address these and other issues for the Sheriff right now.          

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