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Thursday, March 29, 2018

AL.COM hits another home run

Folks, there is something inherently wrong with sheriffs in the State of Alabama taking inmate food funds.  Many inmates housed in county jails across the state are illegal immigrants that cannot even speak the English language.  The sheriffs have demeaned the position of sheriff and each one should pay for what they have done.

Sheriff Ana Franklin was allowed to pay the money back.  Well! Maybe.  Sheriff Franklin did not pay the money back by placing the money in the Morgan County Jail Inmate Food Account.  By that I mean she did not put the money back in the account she stole it from.  Instead, Franklin placed the money in a bank in Cullman, Alabama.

As whistleblowers, we have reported a lot of information on the inmate food account.  We printed copies of the checks for our readers to see, we spoke to family members about claims of underfeeding inmates, and we received letters from Billable Barney Lovelace claiming we broke the law.  We received another letter from the Alabama Sheriff's Association informing us that Sheriff's across the state are allowed to take leftover inmate food funds.  As whistleblowers, we have shared a lot of information about the sheriff of our county.  

The problem with the sheriff's taking inmate food funds for their own personal gain or from any other sheriff's account is unacceptable.  

We have been recognized across the nation as a state that is willing to allow sheriffs to take inmate food funds for personal gain, allowing inmates to go hungry while they enjoy their rodeo and posse events under the guise of a non-profit organization set up to support special needs.  The only special needs being supported by the Morgan County Posse were those of Sheriff Ana Franklin and her thugs.

Alabama sheriffs keeping jail food money could run afoul of federal law, lawyers say
Updated 7:17 AM; Posted 7:17 AM

Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has repeatedly stated that he has not broken any laws by personally keeping more than $750,000 allocated over three years to feed inmates in the county jail he runs and purchasing a $740,000 beach house with his wife.
"Everything that I have done is in full compliance with the law," he said via email. "As I proved with documentation during Friday's press conference, former District Attorney and Attorney General opinions have clarified that I am in full compliance."
But that may not be the case under federal law, according to lawyers and former federal officials with decades of relevant experience who spoke with AL.com.
Experts say that though the jail food funding practices appear to be legal under state law, they may in fact run counter to a number of federal laws that govern the treatment of federal inmates.
'That's theft'
Attorney John Phillips, of the Washington, D.C. law firm Phillips & Cohen, specializes in fraud against the government.
In a phone interview Saturday, Phillips said the practice of keeping the jail food funds likely ran afoul of federal law because a portion of the money was allocated by the federal government to feed immigration detainees and any other federal inmates in the Etowah County jail, also known as the Etowah County Detention Center.
The sheriff's office houses hundreds of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement detainees in the facility via a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. Both federal agencies declined to comment.
Phillips called Entrekin's assertion that he is legally allowed to keep any such funds "ridiculous" and said that he could be held both criminally and civilly liable for doing so.
"How can he possibly believe he can do this? This is theft; that's embezzlement," Phillips, who served as U.S. ambassador to Italy from 2014 to 2017, said. "It's amazing someone thinks they can get away with that. This to me is out-and-out theft. They're not getting what they're bargaining for here and he's actually pocketing it."
Food fight
Margot Schlenger, a University of Michigan Law School professor and former head of civil rights for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the way Entrekin spent the inmate food funds is likely illegal under federal law.
"If it's the case that the sheriff is profiting financially from providing substandard food to detainees, that would violate both the contract and ICE's standards and the Constitution," she said.
Entrekin maintains that he feeds his inmates in accordance with federal and state law.
"Each of these inmates and illegal immigrants who are housed here under an ICE program are fed balanced, nutritious meals that include fruits, vegetables and proteins," he told reporters Friday during a press conference in a room on the ground floor of the detention center.
But current and former inmates, civil rights advocates, and other observers have said for years that the food fed to inmates in the facility is sub-par and that portion sizes are too small.
As AL.com reported last week, persistent complaints about food served in the jail include that inmates are often served inadequate portions of expired or rotten food.
November 2016 study by the Southern Poverty Law Center "found evidence of significant problems with the quality and quantity of food served to detainees" in the 
Etowah County jail.

"Detainees reported very small portion sizes," the study states. "Many detainees have lost weight during their time at the detention center. One man reported losing 25 pounds since his arrival at Etowah."
Entrekin denied those claims via email.
"Feel free to correct the insinuation that our prisoners are underfed or fed poor quality food now that those accusations have also been proven untrue," he said. During the Friday press conference, Entrekin showed reporters a tray of breakfast that he said fulfills dietary requirements and was identical to ones fed to inmates in the Etowah County jail that morning.
'A big hammer'
 Attorney Sarah Alexander, an associate with the international law firm Constantine Cannon who specializes in whistleblower cases, said that the practice of sheriffs keeping excess money from the jail food fund could potentially lead to a federal False Claims Act claim.
The False Claims Act allows civil claims to be brought against contractors who misuse federal money. It allows whistleblowers who work for federal contractors to report potential fraud by their employers to the U.S. Department of Justice, which then investigates the claims without revealing the names of the whistleblowers, Alexander said.
If the DOJ finds evidence of misuse of federal funds during an investigation, it decides whether it wants to litigate the claim. If it declines to do so because of lack of resources or other concerns, the whistleblower has the option to reveal his or her identity and personally pursue the litigation.
Because claims under the False Claims Act are civil matters, violations of the act do not carry a criminal penalty. But Alexander said that there can be severe civil repercussions for violating the law.
"The penalties are quite large for False Claims Act violations. The statute provides that it's three times the damages they cost the federal government," she said.
"In addition to that, there are penalties for every single violation - around $11,000 for every single fraudulent bill sent to the federal government - in addition to being required to pay the attorney's fees of the whistleblower. It's a big hammer that the government has in its arsenal."
Some observers have suggested that perhaps the jail food funding practices could have avoided running afoul of federal laws if Entrekin had kept the federal funds separate from the state and local money and been careful not to use federal funds for any purpose other than feeding federal inmates.
But Entrekin said during his Friday press conference that he is "using it all together." He said via email Monday that he believes he has done nothing wrong.
"I am unsure who these sources and lawyers that you refer to are, but the individuals with first-hand knowledge include the DA, AG and on-site ICE compliance officer and there have never been any issues," he said.
Jay Town, U.S. attorney for Alabama's Northern District, provided a brief written statement in response to questions about the Etowah County jail's food funding practices and whether his office is investigating Entrekin or the sheriff's office.
"I cannot comment on the existence of a civil or criminal investigation," Town said. "I am also restricted from commenting on legislation or statutory construction, no matter how grossly absurd or positive a given statute might be."
Conflict of interest
There is also conflict of interest language in the contract between the Etowah County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals according to Constantine Cannon attorney Anne Hartman. ICE inmates are housed at the Etowah County jail via the contract.
"It's hard to say" if the inmate-feeding practices at the Etowah County Detention Center violate the conflict of interest language, Hartman said. "[Federal authorities] could sue for breach of contract."
The contract states that "Officials or employees of the recipient, a sub-recipient or a contractor, shall avoid any action which might result in, or create the appearance of" any of five scenarios, including "using his or her official position for private gain" and "affecting adversely the confidence of the public in the integrity of the government or the program."
Phillips said he believes the situation in Etowah County violates the contract.

"Under federal contract law, if somebody receives federal funds for one purpose and uses them for another purpose, that's theft and that's criminal," he said. "He knowingly did it. It wasn't a mistake, it wasn't negligent."

25 comments:

  1. I just read the Daily and Ana is seeking immunity again. She has never taken responsibility for anything in her life. Growing up her sister was blamed for everything. Ana was considered the cream of the crop. Ana's sister is a saint in comparison to her.

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    1. Cavnar cannot shut his trap. He hates Ana's guts. Now he is bashing the blog because he doesn't want the blogger to tell what he said to her. He is desperate to become the next sheriff. He treated Chunn like shit and was pissed off when he heard a rumor that he was running for sheriff. He called him and and let him know just how pissed he was. That is until he found out that Chunn had a health scare. Eating crow just doesn't do it. Cavnar does not want people to trust Glenda or anybody else he thinks supports another candidate. He can't stand Puckett, he can't stand Childres, nor anyone else that doesn't agree with him. He claims Clairaday is an idiot. Sorry Cavnar you lost my vote when you made some disparaging remarks about Chunn and his previous job a couple of weeks ago. Who the hell do you think you are? God?

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  2. The law allowing this was written in 1939, taking into account inflation, this $1.75 per day is roughly equal to $30.00 in today's money. Allowing sheriffs to keep the excess was intended to supplement their income from the beginning. To say otherwise, is misleading at best.
    Glenda keeps blathering on about inmates not being fed properly, but the Federal Judge certainly disagrees with that statement.

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    1. Where’s your proof?

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    2. Blake you keep blathering on about Glenda Glenda Glenda. You should worry about jail jail jail. Please do tell Ana how much everybody appreciates her being the calendar girl again. She posed as the poster sheriff that started a wave of interest in the inmate food funds across the nation. I bet all the sheriffs in good ole Alabama think highly of the sheriff that started all the ruckus. Or you could just blame Glenda.

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    3. Ain't that Blake guy one of Anna's thieving goons? If so he has more to worry about other than Glenda. He's about to lose his wife , little boy, career and freedom so his comments are null

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    4. Well from hearing people that have been in the Morgan county jail they ain't getting nowhere near the amount of food they should be getting. I think I will believe the ones that experience it first hand than a federal judge or a sherrif that steals or any of her goons that works for her

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    5. Nothing wrong with having an opinion. It just doesn't have any proof backing it up and the Federal Government is more on Glenda's "blathering" side to boot. I kinda doubt that they set up this law so Ana could invest in a crooked car lot, among other wacked out crap she buys with the funds while leaving MCSO in shambles. Shame the current generations are not being taught ethics, morals, and principles!

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    6. Oh yea! Blake check out the Federal Data base you will see the judge has not yet ruled on the last lawsuit against the sheriff. You need to read up on federal and state laws so you will know what to expect when you are arrested. You are a damn fool who gave all to protect the sheriff in hiding.

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  3. ,who is Morgan countys on site ice compliancy officer and I know for a fact that the servings at MCSD are slim pickings. Of course entrekin in etewoh county will say that he feed the inmates a plate just like that but it was far smaller servings just like Franklin serves in the jail. You can put all the food in a pile and take 2 bites and be done. I've seen guys be done eating before the food cart leave the damn door from serving the pod

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  4. Is there proof of this money she supposedly returned being in a checking account in Cullman? Just curious

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    1. Nope, just a bank account with Ana’s name on it.

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    2. Wish it could be proven so they could take the money away from the thief

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  5. It has been proven. Check the federal court records. Traditions Bank. The same account Alyssa deposited Performance Auto Sales money in signed by Alyssa.

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  6. Ana had Alyssa write checks from Performance Auto to her. Forgive my indiscretions I just need a little more money.

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    1. Oh I see now. So how can that money be recovered and put back in the inmates food funds account?

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  7. If those involved with this blog have been able to prove all of this how much more can law enforcement with their abilities and insight prove. Not idiots like Bones and Blake but real law enforcement like those investigating them.

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  8. Lock them all up. Every corrupt Sheriff who has profited from fed funds. Make them accountable. Seize all they have gained. Beach houses. Estate in Sarah land. They have screwed a lot of innocent individuals along the way

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  9. Look up justice for aubie. Bones shot and killed an innocent golden retriever over a very small amount of marijuana. Ana threatened to sue owner of Facebook page saying the dog lunged at bones and he shot

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    1. Bones is a big ole piece of shit.

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  10. Aubie was the only one that got famous. They were many more. He is a unstable dangerous child.

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  11. I heard he blew up a rat terrier in front of family. That's highly uncalled for

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  12. They say he also shot and killed a drunk man on his front porch. Got away with that one too. How's the excessive overtime Bones you never work. Sweetie Sheriff is taking good care of your lazy ass

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    1. And they say todays kids are more entitled than ever. Yep Bones is the poster child followed closely by Blake.

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  13. Thats just it, bones is no child .he knows right from wrong.and has gotten away with to much .about time to .as he would say ,close the curtains .

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