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Friday, August 4, 2017

Billable Barney sucking more money from the county

Blogger Comments:  Folks claims of prisoner abuse are very serious.  If true, you are taking people who have lost all rights and are at the mercy of the jail.  We have a few comments below that lead us to believe that most things Sheriff Franklin touches are criminal.

Attorney: New allegations of prisoner abuse false, inflammatory

  • By Evan Belanger Staff Writer

  • New allegations of prisoner mistreatment at the county jail are intentionally inflammatory, according to an attorney for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, and he is confident the jail is complying with all state and federal laws regarding the treatment of prisoners.
    Sheriff Ana Franklin may now be complying with federal laws but according to many families that we have worked with Sheriff Franklin was not complying with any laws.  The laws are just a nuisance for Ana both State and Federal.  Sheriff Franklin says she won the last case and she will win this one. Being held in contempt does not make you the winner.  
    “I don’t read anything into their response other than just setting what the law is and some examples just to be inflammatory,” said attorney Barney Lovelace, of the latest court filing from the Southern Center for Human Rights.
    Billable Barney has been fighting Franklin's battles for 6 1/2 years and sat in on the meeting Franklin had with her informant before the break-in at the whistleblower's office. Oh wait, is that being inflammatory?  It appears that in Barney's eyes if anyone says anything about Ana, he is Johnny on the spot in defending her. When a widow woman went to Barney when Greg Steenson took her money after selling her deceased husband's cars, Barney called Ana and she brought $28K to Barney along with two checks.  One check was signed by Ziaja.  It is hard to believe that Franklin brings in $28K and Barney doesn't question his client or run the money and the checks through his office to keep the transactions clean.  
    The court filing, which references allegations of inadequate medical treatment and food, seeks to delay efforts by the Sheriff’s Office and the Morgan County Commission to set aside multiple federal court orders dating to 2001 regarding the treatment of prisoners.
    If Franklin hasn't done anything wrong, why has the food bill gone up by thousands of dollars per month?  Why is Franklin now allowing families to bring their loved ones legally prescribed prescriptions to the jail vice making her own decisions as to what medications are acceptable and what aren't?
    It requests time for the Southern Center to investigate a number of complaints from prisoners at the jail. Such an investigation, the group said, is likely to show at least portions of the court orders need to be retained to protect the prisoners from mistreatment.
    Among the complaints the group says it is investigating are allegations that food is often inedible, including chicken that is bloody or pink inside due to undercooking, or covered in ice because it has not been properly thawed.
    Imagine you are an inmate and you are served these uncooked or undercooked chicken.  I would hate to be the one who told Corrections Office Cerico that the chicken isn't cooked.  We are told by inmates that she-dog curses the inmates that help in the kitchen.  If not for the Southern Center the inmates would have no rights against the rogue Sheriff of Morgan County. Once the corruption is cleaned up in the MCSO the incumbent sheriff and the commission should then request a reassessment of the decree.
    Other complaints include that food is often contaminated with foreign objects and that prisoners with diabetes are being fed high-starch meals, resulting in dangerously high blood-glucose levels.
    The issues with the inmates with diabetes is a long-term issue that still hasn't been corrected.
    The filing also says the Southern Center is investigating complaints that prisoners with serious medical conditions are being denied prescribed medications and mental health care.
    There was an inmate who had staph infection who was said to be wrapped up in trash bags to ensure none of the other inmates were infected.  His pod was washed down with bleach and water which may have been the reason he fell down.  He was later taken to the hospital for the severity of the staph infection.  The trash bags most likely heated up his body and caused the staph to grown.  Maybe Franklin is doing the "right thing now" but that doesn't change the pain and suffering of the sick and hungry.
    The complaints included one inmate who allegedly suffered a serious mental health episode and was subsequently subjected to physical force by jail staff, and another who reported he was not receiving medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a life-threatening respiratory illness, and had suffered an estimated eight asthma attacks during his year and a half of imprisonment.
    Sarah Geraghty, an attorney for the Southern Center, said she could not comment on the findings of the investigation because they are still underway.
    “We’re reviewing documents (and) interviewing people at the jail,” she said.
    Lovelace said he is confident there is nothing to the alleged complaints, noting that the Southern Center made similar allegations in March during a dispute over Sheriff Ana Franklin’s removal of $160,000 from a jail food account and later agreed to a settlement that conceded there were no ongoing violations of the prisoners' federal rights involving food.
    Those earlier complaints came in the form of a March 16 letter sent to attorneys for the Sheriff's Office and entered into the court record by the Southern Center. Among other allegations, it alleged prisoners had found rocks in their food and, in one case, a nail.
    The settlement conceded Franklin had violated a 2009 court order by removing the money from the jail food account but also struck the provision of the court order barring her from removing the money.
    Geraghty said at the time of the settlement the Southern Center made that concession because the legal standard to prove the provision should remain was “exceedingly high.”
    Franklin was found in contempt of court and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. The money was returned to the jail food account before the settlement.
    The inmate food money was returned to Sheriff Ana Franklin's PRIVATE account she named the Inmate Funds.  Time will tell if the money will be returned to the MCSO inmate food funds it was taken out of.
    Within weeks of the settlement, the Sheriff’s Office and the county moved to strike all 33 remaining federal court orders regarding the treatment of inmates at the jail, arguing they were no longer needed.
    Franklin said Wednesday she was attending a sheriffs' conference and had not had time to thoroughly review the latest court filings.
    Vacationing near her newly completed home in Saraland.  Last year Franklin spent most of June and July in south Alabama.  No known connection.  Yeah right.
    District Judge Abdul Kallon has granted the Southern Center’s request for more time to investigate, setting a hearing for Sept. 21 for the opposing sides to present their cases.
    Lovelace said the Sheriff’s Office is lining up an array of recognized experts in jail conditions, including a federal marshal tasked with inspecting the jail on a regular basis for the federal inmates housed there.

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