Folks, we have always thought of Sheriff Mitchell as a decent guy. Mitchell claims he is only following lawyer's advice on not releasing inmate-food records. So! Whose attorney is he listening to? The Alabama Sheriff's Association's attorney. How shocking.... Mitchell makes it clear he isn't losing any sleep over the lawsuit. Check out the Decatur Daily @ http://www.decaturdaily.com/news/local/mitchell-sued-over-inmate-food-records-says-he-s-following/article_0bbb1313-9b54-5e5c-a524-ed5230683bf5.html
The reason the sheriffs in the state have so much power is that they are backed by the Alabama Sheriffs Association (ASA). The legislature has been beaten down by the lobbyists for way too long. It is the time that the legislature listens to the people who voted them into office and not the lobbyists. We the people want changes to the law that allows sheriffs to partake of the inmate food funds. Sheriff Franklin proved to Morgan County how corrupt sheriffs can steal money for their own selfish desires.
It is time the commissions step up to the plate and take responsibility for feeding the inmates or contract the services to an independent party with full audit rights.
According to the daily article "Rhea said in a statement". "That the responsibility is personal to the sheriff. That means, if there is a shortfall in the funds available for the feeding of prisoners, the sheriff has the personal responsibility to meet that shortfall".
Ok! We get it. We know about shortfalls. However, in the case of Sheriff Ana Franklin, she claimed that she had a $21,000.00 shortfall that came out of her pocket. Ana liar liar pants on fire. The sheriff tells the truth. Any shortfalls have been placed on the back of the county commission. Franklin claims that she took the $160,000.00 from the inmate fund and invested $150,000.00 in Auto Sales. The problem with the lies Ana tells us that she took the money on July 5. The end of the fiscal year wasn't until September 30. In addition, Franklin told multiple lies about where she got the money before being forced to tell the truth. This is the kind of person the ASA wants us to trust? Ana is not alone is her partaking of the inmate food funds.
Rhea goes on to say we the public has no right to the information. Aren't the inmate food funds state, county, and taxpayer dollars?
According to the Lawrence County Commission, they have no problem taking over the inmate food funds if the legislature makes it a law.
We the public have a right to be informed as to how our tax dollars are being spent and we should continue to demand to know.
Please read the law below and give us your opinion. Our belief is that the only reason the sheriffs are allowed access to the inmate food funds is that of Lobbyist groups such as the Alabama Sheriff's Association lobbying the legislature, not the law.
Failure of sheriff to maintain account book, etc.
The way we read the Alabama Code the records have been deemed public record. That is not to say the sheriff's cant take the money but it does deem them public record. So release the damn books to whomever asks.