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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Good For You Decatur Daily

Blogger Comments:  The people of this county need to wake up and ensure that the people we elect work for the citizens of the county.  We must demand transparency.  We must demand that they follow the Alabama Codes as they apply to them.  The sheriff and law enforcement officers as a whole have laws that apply to them.  Any citizen of Morgan County should be able to walk into the sheriff's office and view the financial records and expenditures of the office w/o being denied, harassed, or being required to submit an Alabama Open Record Request as the Alabama Code stipulates.  The sheriff did get a slap on the hand.  She did not learn her lesson.  Franklin is so arrogant that instead of placing the money that she took from the inmate food account back in the account, she placed the money into the suspicious account she set up last December.     

I received very specific information involving one of the "investors" that is alarming.  I contacted the individual yesterday.  He was not happy and threatened to take me to court, charge me with harassment and more.  Very well.  I staffed the information accordingly.  How soon we forget when a 4 wheeler pulls up on our property and sits and watches family members.  Yes, we have witnesses.  Or when the same person comes to a neighbor's house along with a citizen and searches the house without a warrant.   Yes, there were witnesses.  How strange is it that the civilian with the law enforcement officer and the civilian began a search of the house looking for stolen weapons.  How strange is it that less than a week later the citizen apologizes to the owner of the house and the wife of the man they accused of the theft after learning his own brother-in-law stole his weapons.   All of the complaints went to Sheriff Ana Franklin who did nothing with the information.  The information also went to the State of Alabama.  

There are citizens under the rogue MCSO administration who have gone through pure hell because of the actions of the sheriff and her thugs.  Even her ex-thugs.  This individual by taking action against the whistleblower can cause her no more harm than that already done.  Our incidents involving rogue law enforcement is well documented and will not be tolerated.  It is unfortunate that a few bad eggs within local and state law enforcement tarnish the names of the fantastic men and women who work for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office and those of ALEA.

If the thugs get the right attorney and the right judge they may win in the short term as in the class action law suit Franklin is encouraging people to join.  Nothing you can do to any of us at this point will stop your downfall.  

Stay away from peoples property and family.  Do not shoot high powered weapons that have the capability of reaching other peoples property.  Please just set back and wait your turn for the real law to take action.  What do you have to lose?

The sheriff wins

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin was in contempt of court. She admitted it, and the federal judge agreed. And she got a slap on the wrist.
Franklin walked into this mess with her eyes wide open.
Former Sheriff Greg Bartlett was held in contempt of court in 2009 after giving his inmates a steady diet of corn dogs. He got the food cheap, and under an archaic state law he was able to personally keep any unspent inmate food money received from the state. He benefited financially, but a federal judge determined he was violating a previous federal order requiring adequate nutrition for inmates.
Bartlett ended up in jail for a night, but ultimately he and the county agreed to an amended order. The order was unambiguous: “The Sheriff of Morgan County shall immediately establish and implement a procedure whereby all funds provided by any source for the feeding of inmates … will be used exclusively for the feeding of said inmates … .”
This order was in place when Franklin ran for office, and it was troublesome. It effectively reduced her salary relative to sheriffs in most other counties. Even before she took office, she asked former county attorney Bill Shinn whether she was bound by the order. His rather obvious answer was yes, it did apply to her. Any Morgan County sheriff was prohibited by the order from pocketing money designated for inmate food.
But then Franklin saw a deal so good she couldn’t pass it up. She had an opportunity to invest $150,000 of inmate food money in a used car dealership managed by a convicted felon. The short-term loan would add $20,000 to her cash, an expected windfall she now says she planned to spend entirely on inmate food.
This bizarre lapse in judgment by one of the most powerful elected officials in the county might have gone unnoticed but for the fact the cash-desperate business in which she invested inmate food money filed for bankruptcy. Franklin was listed as a creditor, and her constituents’ question was obvious. Where did she get the money?
The Decatur Daily filed multiple public records requests seeking the answer to this question. She did not provide the requested documents. The Daily asked her the question and her answer was that the loan came from “savings for retirement.”
It was not until the Southern Center for Human Rights resumed aggressive monitoring of Franklin’s accounts — something they had the authority to do based on the earlier federal order — that the truth came out. Despite a federal court order that she use inmate food money “exclusively for the feeding of said inmates,” she used the money to invest in a used car dealership.
Franklin’s violation of the court order had minor legal consequences. She could have petitioned the court to end the restrictions two years after the 2009 order was issued, and the court agreed to end them going forward. She was fined $1,000 for being in contempt.
It was a major legal victory for the sheriff.
The issue for Franklin’s constituents, however, is different. The chief law enforcement officer in the county — the elected official charged with the responsibility of enforcing court orders against others — failed to abide by a court order. And her violation of the order demonstrated startlingly bad judgment.
She failed to go through the public steps of asking the court to revise or end the order, preferring to violate it quietly. The temptation that caused her to violate the order was the promise of a quick return from a used car dealership managed by a convicted felon. She was not candid with the media when asked about it.
Franklin avoided the embarrassment of spending a night in jail like her predecessor. She cannot be surprised, however, if the people of the county no longer trust her judgment or her candor.

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