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Friday, March 24, 2017

Federal hearing set to decide use of Morgan jail inmate food money By Keith Clines

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When a judge rules on a case or a portion of a case we accept that decision without condition.  We may not like the decision or believe that the decision is made in the best interest of the  inmates but that decision is made.  

Federal hearing set to decide use of Morgan jail inmate food money By Keith Clines Staff Writer Mar 24, 2017
A federal judge will hear arguments from attorneys at a hearing next month about whether Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin is entitled to keep money left over from feeding jail inmates or if she is required to spend all money on food for the inmates.
U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon late Thursday afternoon set a hearing for April 14 at 1:30 p.m. for attorneys representing Franklin and representing jail inmates to make oral arguments on the issue. The hearing will be in the federal courthouse in Decatur.
Kallon said in his order setting the hearing that what Franklin can do with money in the inmate food account is the only remaining issue after both sides filed a joint stipulation of facts Wednesday detailing the movement of $160,000 that Franklin removed from the account in June 2015. The $160,000 has been returned to the account, the joint stipulation said.
Kallon said Franklin’s admission that she used $150,000 from the account to make a personal loan to a used auto dealership leaves only one issue to be resolved.
“… the sole issue remaining as to the motion is Sheriff Franklin’s legal argument regarding the scope of the consent decree as it relates to her ability to utilize excess monies in the inmate food account,” Kallon wrote.
Franklin’s attorneys have argued in court filings that a 2009 amended consent decree does not apply to her because state law allows her to keep unspent money from the account, and that then-U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon erred in ordering that all money the sheriff receives to feed inmates be used exclusively for that purpose.
They argued that the order applied to Franklin's predecessor, but not to her.
Attorneys for the Southern Center for Human Rights, which Clemon assigned to monitor compliance with the consent decree, have said that the order applies to Franklin because federal civil lawsuit procedures made Franklin a defendant when she succeeded former Sheriff Greg Bartlett.
The center, which is based in Atlanta, had asked for a hearing for Franklin to show why she should not be found in contempt of the decree for removing the $160,000. That hearing was to be held Thursday, but was canceled after the two sides filed the joint stipulation of facts Wednesday.
The case began in 2001 when Morgan County Jail inmates filed a class-action lawsuit against the county and former Sheriff Steve Crabbe over conditions in the jail. The two sides agreed to a consent decree later in 2001 that resulted in the county building a new jail and making other improvements.
The matter returned to the courtroom in 2008 when inmates complained about the meals they were served, including eating corn dogs three times a day for two months.
Clemon found Bartlett in contempt of the decree and sentenced him to federal prison until Bartlett could offer a plan to feed inmates nutritious meals. Bartlett spent one night in a Talladega federal prison before proposing that all money the sheriff receives for jail inmate food be used for that purpose.
Clemon agreed to Bartlett’s proposal and amended the consent decree in January 2009.
keith.clines@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_KeithClines.

27 comments:

  1. That's it??? WTH! She steals inmate food funds to lose them in a cousin-related scam, while those who are helpless in her custody get by on watered-down gruel and she gets away with it?? So she pays the money back before going to court?? And then she walks?? And the world waits for an apology?? A beg for forgiveness? Don't hold your breath, pilgrims. This sure ain't right. But it's so. That is the judge's ruling. Is that a precedent? A license to steal? A license to give the mentally disabled the medicine she prescribes? Hummm.

    Just image, you steal from the church's orphan fund, say, or you rob the Salvation Army's kettle, or, heaven forbid, from the license-to-carry fund, and just before the indictment you put it all back. You think that you, an ordinary (and powerless) private citizen, will smile and skip down the street and all's forgiven? Hell, NO! But if you're Ana, not a problem.


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  2. The money being the ONLY issue left, means the Atlanta attorneys agree that the inmates have been fed properly. I guess this blog claiming they were being starved is just another pack of lies.
    What else y'all lying about?

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    1. I'm loving it. Maybe now the bloggers will stop!

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    2. In other words the inmates deserve what they get? Who gives a shit. They are in jail starve them.

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    3. In other words the inmates deserve what they get? Who gives a shit. They are in jail starve them.

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    4. Since you have a problem with reading comprehension, I'll lend a hand. The court and the Atlanta lawyers were provided with the facts and proof (always in short supply around here) that showed the inmates are fed a balanced diet in accordance with the consent decree, therefore that issue was put aside. The Atlanta lawyers agreed because they didn't want to look foolish.

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    5. To answer your question. Yes the inmates deserve what they get. They have 2 options 90% of the time. 1 bond out Or 2 don't do the crime to do the time. If they are goofy enough to do the crime then they deserve what they get. If they choose not to eat that's their problem. All the people that are pro whistleblower are the people that have a record or their family members do. STOP doing wrong!!

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    6. God help us if you are a jailer. People make mistake. If you don't believe it ask Chad's wife. She made upwards 15 or 16 mistakes. She turned her life around. Your just lucky you didn't get caught. Do you really think that it is OK for the sheriff to steal money that doesn't belong to her? You are not helping the sheriffs cause.

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  3. What is extremely amazing, and I am directing this at the "Ana Fans" is that they don't care about tax dollars going into an elected officials pocket for personal gain. This Sheriff in her first campaign said that she would not only be the most 'transparent sheriff ever, she also said that she would never take the left over food money. 2 lies right there, she took and will not let any of us see or know how much she has taken. That isn't being transparent. It is OUR tax dollars for goodness sake. Then when she invested the money she took, knowing full well what the federal court order and an opinion that she sought from the county attorney said that she was not entitled to the left over money. Investing in a car lot operated by a convicted felon. When asked about that Ana said she didn't know the convicted felon, her cousin worked there. Then she failed to mention that one of her daughters was the office manager there. And you people can support this stuff? But she took anyway. Gave into temptation. When she invested the money she said it came from retirement savings, a lie. That makes lie number 3. Then she opened a bank account for the food funds in Cullman, not in Decatur, Hartselle, or anywhere in Morgan County. That within its self is deceptive. The only logical reason she doesn't want to reveal the bank statements from this account is that it more than likely will show more money has been taken. It doesn't matter that the old 1939 law that says it is ok to take the left over money, means that you should take it. But yet, through all of the deception and lies the Ana fans are shouting in glee, victory in this case full of lies, deceit and total lack of transparency. If you can support that, then you are a huge part of the problem. This is our chief county law enforcement officer, and that is not the standard of honesty and integrity this office requires. So for the blunt and downright fans who post on here for her, and support her you are supporting lies and deceit and total arrogance, and that my friends will never last and it will fail. Public image for the Sheriff took a huge blow this week, she may have won by placing the money back, but she won't recover from the huge public image blow. I leave you with this....Ana invested $150,00 in the car lots and lost that money, and filed as a victim in a lawsuit to get the money back. Now she has deposited $160,000 back into the food account. Just how does a Sheriff that makes $68,000 a year deposit that much money back into the account? Where did THAT MONEY come from?
    So instead of celebrating Ana fans, pointing fingers, and deflecting, just answer me that question....you can't

    Charlie McCall

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    1. Why do you care where the money comes from? It's there in an account. Maybe she pulled it out of her retirement account after the fact? Maybe family or friends loaned the money to her? It's none of your business. It's in an account. Where is the loan on your house from? How much is owed. How much do you spend at Walmart? Where does your money come from? Do you see how ignorant that sounds, Mr. Charlie McCall? They are going to figure out if she should keep the money or put it towards food. End of story.

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    2. Oh but it is my business. It is TAXPAYER money she is putting in her pocket, so that makes it my business. Plus, the sheriff as I pointed out only makes $68,000 a year. I'm not the elected public official that has lied about this to the public. First she said she took the money she invested from her retirement, that story changed to it came from the food account. The sheriff in Morgan County is on the state retirement program. If one is on that program you can not borrow nor do they loan money from your retirement. See, when you point at me, you are deflecting and defending lies and deceit to the public made by the Sheriff. A Sheriff who once ran and said that she would never take the food account money. I'll be glad to be called ignorant and point out the lies and deceit from any public official. So you tell me, it's ok with you that an elected official spends tax payers dollars for personal gain? It's ok for that official to not tell the public that elected them and show the bank account statements and that money is derived from taxpayers dollars? Why not? When elected public official don't want the public to know they have something to hide. Pointing your finger at me and asking those stupid questions has no merit, I am not the one that ran for office and made two very distinct promises, those being I'll never take the food money, and I'll be totally transparent. Maybe, maybe, maybe all you want you are defending an untruthful office holder. The sheriff made those remarks and promises and did not abide them ,her words and promises and not mine. She knew the salary when she took office, there is no acceptable excuses. You and her other supporters use to be the majority in this county, now you are the minority, the damage has been done the trust has been lost.

      Charlie McCall

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    3. McCall, this joker is way out in left field. I can tell him why I care. The jail is not a concentration camp. The conditions in the jail before the Georgia Group got here resembled a concentration camp. Starvation, maggots found on people sleeping on the floor pads and a lot of people with scabies. Some of these people still think the queen bee will get out of the mess she caused. If the whistleblowers need new information I can give it to them. Ana why don't you tell the good people about the 4-wheeler wreck. The one you controlled so that nobody would know you was drinking with kids. Course that’s ok since you went and got Dial out of jail for doing the same think you did.

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  4. Do you realize how Ana’s issues make us look to the world and our constituents? I am sickened by the latest events. I for one, do not blame Ana only in this matter. We are elected to our positions and none of us has the courage to stand up against Ana because we are facing our own election battles. We allowed a considerable amount of this to happen on our time and we turned our backs on the citizens that voted for us during the past two elections. I do have something to share with the whistleblowers. I had a luncheon date at the City Cafe yesterday. I noticed four people going over documents in the booth adjacent to my table. I couldn’t help but hear the conversation. It was quickly evident that they were part of the whistleblowers. Someone apparently sent them a host of information that was not favorable to some of us. It was evident that the legal ramifications they are enduring is not deterring their efforts. As I listened more intently to the conversation I realized these people really care about the community and our citizens, they care about inmates, and they expressed concern over how the elected officials just turned their backs on the citizens that voted for them and allowed Ana to corrupt the sheriff’s office. I sat there embarrassed that these unknown people know more about the community and its citizens than we do as public officials. I must submit this comment as anonymous and for that I am very sorry, ashamed and humiliated.

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    1. Geraldine MorrisonMarch 24, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      Yea right! That's why Ray Long made it known that he isn't feeding the inmates. Wants no part of it. Keep up the good work whistlebowers. Go after all of them. I hope you got the goods on Ray and why he is always sucking up to Ana.

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    2. That's your fault as a public official. I am neither an Ana fan nor whistleblower fan but when both parties do wrong what right does that give for the other to point fingers?

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  5. It is right for ANYONE to point fingers when an elected official has done wrong, and the whistle blowers aren't the only group pointing at the Sheriff, the lawyer group in Atlanta selected by the federal court is also, as are multiple news organizations. So, when the public perceves a public official doing wrong, they most certainly have a right to speak up. If not our public officials will have no fear and will do wrong more often than not.

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  6. I hear this mess isn't over. It's only her thugs with badges who have padded their pockets commenting. I believe she will be impeached or the Federalies will get them.

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  7. And btw if it were not for the whistleblowers exposing them, they would all still be in business with the felon bilking the inmate food account. The public wont turn their eye on this...its their money not hers.

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  8. Did Ana pay taxes on the $160,000? She should have received a 1099 or it should have been included in her W-2.

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  9. I am sure she didn't...she didn't report it on her yearly thing either that public officials are required to do. If she claimed it was her money why not report it? Sorry Ana and our band of thugs...I would not be celebrating at any time in the very near future.

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  10. Psalm 64[a]
    For the director of music. A psalm of David.

    1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
    2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
    from the plots of evildoers.
    3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
    4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.
    5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares;
    they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
    6 They plot injustice and say,
    “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
    7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
    8 He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
    9 All people will fear;
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.
    10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him;
    all the upright in heart will glory in him!

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  11. What a world we live in! A man, who boldly lies on the regular gets elected president, then fires a man for lying to the vice president, but refuses to fire the AG who lies to congress & the American people. The same man bragged about crimes he’s committed. Morgan County elected a sheriff who lied about being transparent in general, and specifically saying she would not use the inmate food money. After lying about taking the food money [(1.) got it from savings/retirement, (2.) removed it over concern about it reaching the insurance limit, (3). Took it, but returned it back], now admits to doing just that. One lie begets another!
    The judge in this matter did the same as Judge Clemons did in the previous ruling in this matter, in that neither ruled upon the legality of state law. Contempt has to do with obeying the court’s order. Sheriff Franklin admitted to violating the court order by signing the ”statement of facts”. What will be her punishment? Judge Clemons punished Sheriff Bartlett by jailing him for contempt of the consent order, not state law. The current Judge has not punished Franklin based upon her failing to obey the consent order, but has decided to rule on the legality of her keeping the money. What strikes me is that both judges seem to be trying to cue appropriate agencies (legislature, DA, or AG) to do their jobs. Clemons put lawmakers on notice about how archaic and ridiculous the state law is today, but recognized that it was not his place to change it. Immediately following his ruling, there was a major call by law makers and citizens to change the state law! The current judge this week has given the “smoking gun” for whoever (DA, AG, or whoever) would be responsible for charging Sheriff Franklin with theft. She has admitted to taking it, returning it, and lied about it, which showed her motive and “consciousness of guilt”. Once charged, additional evidence could likely be gained by subpoenaing bank records, tax records, & the yearly economic statement required of elected officials. Justice requires that Franklin be punished for contempt (failure to obey the court order), regardless of whether it is ruled that she may keep the excess money. Such interpretation would further point to improper or illegal conduct on her part since she withdrew the money before the fiscal year was over and could not be considered excess.
    In summary, Franklin pledged not to use the food money, got a legal opinion advising her that she could not do so, and either (1) decided to defy both legal counsel and the judge’s order, or (2) decided to steal it. Her conduct and the time line of her behavior suggest the latter. Why lie or be deceptive about taking it, but after being exposed (remember the published checks), replacing it? She should resign or be removed from office as her conduct falls far short of the integrity required of her title – Sheriff.

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    1. All that has been said many times over in this blog, you should work on some new material. It's all up to Judge Kallon, and the Law, now.
      These continual reposts are starting to look a bit desperate, like you know the thing you live for, and obsess over, is slowly slipping away.

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    2. Kudos to you,Sir or Madam,your summary was spot on,however,the majority of people in Morgan county that elected this immoral, corrupt woman as their sheriff,are not gifted with your intellect or common sense,unfortunately.The DA,AG,and the legislature are equally corrupt.This sheriff is friends with with the Governor,very good friends with Luther Strange,and her current boyfriend,Charlie McNichol,is close friends with Jeff Sessions.McNichol and Franklin were sitting directly behind Sessions, at his confirmation hearing in Washington D.C. Enough said? She will never be punished or reprimanded in any way.I travel to other states frequently,and the people that I come in contact with,make fun of the "Good Ole Boys"in Montgomery.

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    3. Kudos to you,Sir or Madam,your summary was spot on,however,the majority of people in Morgan county that elected this immoral, corrupt woman as their sheriff,are not gifted with your intellect or common sense,unfortunately.The DA,AG,and the legislature are equally corrupt.This sheriff is friends with with the Governor,very good friends with Luther Strange,and her current boyfriend,Charlie McNichol,is close friends with Jeff Sessions.McNichol and Franklin were sitting directly behind Sessions, at his confirmation hearing in Washington D.C. Enough said? She will never be punished or reprimanded in any way.I travel to other states frequently,and the people that I come in contact with,make fun of the "Good Ole Boys"in Montgomery.

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    4. The only DESPERATE person in this county right now is Ana Franklin. The Ana fans are so blunt and rude. If I were Ana's attorney I'd would tell yall to be quiet you certainly are adding to ruining her image, which by the way she doesn't need help with. Charlie McCall

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  12. I agree 100%...resign while you ahead...bones...blake...Barney...all of of your thugs involved..steven ziaja...all corrupt individuals that believed this Sheriff had so much power that none would ever get caught...the taxpayers of this county have alot more power than realize...Good luck to all

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