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Saturday, March 17, 2018

National Public Radio / Associated Press

Blogger Comments:  Folks when will this madness end?

Alabama Sheriff Legally Took $750,000 Meant To Feed Inmates, Bought Beach House


March 14, 20184:26 PM ET
Camila Domonoske




Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin took home as personal profit more than $750,000 that was budgeted to feed jail inmates, which is legal in Alabama, according to state law and local officials.
Brynn Anderson/AP
A sheriff in Alabama took home as personal profit more than $750,000 that was budgeted to feed jail inmates — and then purchased a $740,000 beach house, a reporter at The Birmingham News found.
And it's perfectly legal in Alabama, according to state law and local officials.
Alabama has a Depression-era law that allows sheriffs to "keep and retain" unspent money from jail food-provision accounts. Sheriffs across the state take excess money as personal income — and, in the event of a shortfall, are personally liable for covering the gap.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin told the News that he follows that practice of taking extra money from the fund, saying, "The law says it's a personal account and that's the way I've always done it."
Sheriffs across the state do the same thing and have for decades. But the scale of the practice is not clear: "It is presently unknown how much money sheriffs across the state have taken because most do not report it as income on state financial disclosure forms," the Southern Center for Human Rights wrote in January.
But in Etowah County, the News found the paper trail.
'Following the letter of the law'
The News discovered the eye-popping figures on ethics disclosures that Entrekin sent to the state: Over the course of three years, he received more than $750,000 in extra compensation from "Food Provisions." The exact amount over $750,000 is unclear, because Entrekin was not required to specify above a $250,000 a year threshold, the paper writes.
The paper also found that Entrekin and his wife own several properties worth a combined $1.7 million, including a $740,000 four-bedroom house in Orange Beach, Ala., purchased in September.
Without the provision funds, Entrekin earns a little more than $93,000 a year, the paper says.
In a statement emailed to NPR, Entrekin said the "liberal media has began attacking me for following the letter of the law."
"The Food Bill is a controversial issue that's used every election cycle to attack the Sheriff's Office," Entrekin said. "Alabama Law is clear regarding my personal financial responsibilities of feeding inmates. Until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law."
Before he made headlines for profiting off the law, Entrekin was better known for being indebted by it.
When Entrekin's predecessor died while still in office, all the money in the food provision account went to his estate — as state law dictated, a county official told NPR. Entrekin had to borrow $150,000 to keep the inmates fed. He was paying down that debt for years, The Gadsden Times reported.
In 2009, while he was still in debt from paying for inmates' food, Entrekin told the Times that he personally thought the law needed to be changed. But he noted that it might cost more money for taxpayers if the county commission had to manage jail kitchens through an open bid process.
David Akins, the chief administrative officer of the Etowah County Commission, agrees with that assessment. He says the commission is not eager to take on that duty, as some other local governments have done.
"The sheriff can feed inmates cheaper than the county can," he said.
Inmate's diets, sheriff's responsibility
Alabama's controversial system hearkens back to a different era, when county jails were more of a mom and pop operation and feeding inmates was often the responsibility of a sheriff's wife.
Today in Alabama, sheriffs are personally responsible for feeding inmates in their jails and receive funds to cover the cost. For state inmates, it's less than $2 per inmate per day; for county, city or federal inmates, the amount can be higher.
If sheriffs feed inmates on less than that, they can "keep and retain" whatever is left over.
Lawyer Aaron Littman, at the Southern Center for Human Rights, said in a January statement that the practice of pocketing leftover funds was a "dubious interpretation" of the law that "raises grave ethical concerns, invites public corruption, and creates a perverse incentive to spend as little as possible on feeding people who are in jail." He argues the sheriffs are supposed to manage the funds, not personally profit from them.
But local governments across the state say the law is clear that the money can be kept for personal use.
"That's the way it was set up years ago," Akins from the Etowah County Commission tells NPR. "That's just the way it's been in the state. ... Of course, state legislators could always change that if they wanted to."
He doesn't see a problem with the practice.
"I think if the inmates were not being fed properly, it might be a concern," he said. "But I'll guarantee you that if they're not fed properly, the federal government would let us know about it."
'Sheriff Corn Dog' and bankrupt car lots
In some cases, the federal government has objected.
In 2009, then-Sheriff Greg Bartlett of Morgan County was briefly tossed in jail after acknowledging that he had personally profited, to the tune of $212,000, from a surplus in the jail-food account. Prisoners testified about receiving meager meals.
To cut corners, Bartlett used charitable donations and "special deals," as CBS put it — including once splitting a $1,000 truck full of corn dogs with a sheriff of a nearby county and then feeding the inmates corn dogs twice a day for weeks.
He defended himself by noting that his profit was legal under state law, but an exasperated federal judge said the sheriff had an obligation to feed his inmates adequate food.
The story made national headlines, and Bartlett agreed to no longer dip into the jail food fund.

Newstime: Alabama sheriff legally took $750,000 meant to feed inmates, bought beach house

In 2015, a sheriff in Morgan County loaned $150,000 from the inmate food fund to a corrupt car lot. The loan was revealed when the business, facing theft and scam charges, went bankrupt.
Again, that sheriff's use of the food money was legal under state law; it was only prohibited in Morgan County because of the county's particular history.
Aside from individual lawsuits like those, it's hard to tell exactly how much money earmarked for inmate food is going to sheriffs.
This January, two advocacy groups sued for access to records that could reveal how much jail food money was being turned into personal profit. The groups said 49 sheriffs had refused to provide records of where funds were spent.
Then in February, reporter Connor Sheets of the News began revealing Entrekin's spending history and his ethics disclosures.
'I put two and two together'
Sheets' investigation has also made headlines because of the arrest of a key source.
Sheets spoke with a landscaper named Matt Qualls who mowed Entrekin's lawn in 2015 and noticed the name of the account on his checks — the "Sheriff Todd Entrekin Food Provision Account." He shared pictures with Sheets.
"A couple people I knew came through the jail, and they say they got meat maybe once a month, and every other day, it was just beans and vegetables," Qualls told Sheets. "I put two and two together and realized that that money could have gone toward some meat or something."
Sheets' initial story was published on Feb. 18. On Feb. 22, Qualls was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after an anonymous call complained of the smell of marijuana from an apartment.
Qualls, who had never been arrested before, faces six charges and is being held on a $55,000 bond, Sheets reports. He is detained in a jail that Entrekin oversees.
Qualls was arrested by Rainbow City Police, not by the sheriff's department.
The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit added extra charges to his case, including a charge of drug trafficking, which the Rainbow City Police chief said was based on inaccurate weight calculations. (The unit counted 14 grams of pot, infused in five cups of butter, as more than than 1,000 grams worth of marijuana.)
"Penalties for drug trafficking are extremely steep in Alabama, where people have been imprisoned for life for the crime," Sheets notes.
The sheriff's office denies involvement in Qualls' case, noting that the landscaper was not arrested or charged by the sheriff's office. The extra charges were added by the Drug Enforcement Unit, which consist of agents drawn from the sheriff's department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.


16 comments:

  1. I will tell you what madness is, Did you know that in Alaska it is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they’re moose hunting? Can you believe that Glenda? Shear madness I tell you!!!

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  2. No we can't believe that but we all know for a fact than Franklin and her goons are on the way out of the sheriff's Dept of Morgan county with their ass in their hands and their heads down. They let lil ol Glenda expose their corrupt ass selves and boy did she do it big. All the bs y'all goons talk and wish is only making her look better. So sit y'all's ass down and stop being childish before y'all end up broker than you already are.

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  3. Glenda, outline your accomplishments if you would be so kind, all I can really see you have done is maybe stopped Ana from running. You have done it at great expense to yourself. It has been exposed that your grandson sold that fat ass out for a moon pie, your family hates you, your business is on the crapper, your a bankrupt ass, affair with Jeffreys, 2 large judgements since the first of the year, and have been verbal abused everyday for two years. Was it worth it??

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  4. Why do you continue to show your limited IQ it is obvious that you are a condensending idiot. You are jelious that this woman had the courage to stop corruption. Perhaps you are one of those she stopped. Please be more positive.

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    1. Jelious?? What language is that?

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    2. All those things don't compare with the high and powerful first female sheriff and her goons being taken down and out by lil ol Glenda. I mean face it ...Glenda ain't going to prison and losing everything she worked for. Glenda gonna be a millionaire from suing Morgan county and she will still be powering on while Franklin and her fools will be rotting in jail lmfao

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  5. My question is how in the world did Justin get mixed up in this mess? He was a sweet student and a good young man.

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    Replies
    1. Because he was a Ricky wanna be but never will live up to.

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  6. Let me tell you about madness, it gets a hold of your spirit, way deep down in the soul. It causes you to do mean hateful things because you are so miserable with your own life. You run around attacking others, hoping to get just a little bit of satisfaction out of life, because you have spent so many years being a useless waste of space, that fails miserably at everything you do.

    Glenda, does all of this sound familiar? It should, I just described you.

    PS. Let me know when you’re able to emotionally process me calling you out on your bullshit without getting mad. Then I will stop.

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  7. Wish Glenda would shut the comments off again to keep the trashy trash talking criminals that have been exposed quiet. Jail should do that before long.

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  8. This cowardly thief wants to hide behind the law. The law also once said blacks and whites weren't equal. The law doesnt cover your sins.

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  9. If you guys are interested in madness here’s a story for you. It’s all about Mad Dog Harold Jeffreys. Mad Dog Jeffreys has spent two years running around irritating people at their homes and places of business trying to convince them that he was the poor victim of Steenson. Mad Dog has been selling his story so hard that he got to believing it himself. He is a good salesman, carries around a lot of papers and acts as if he has facts to back up his claims.

    I suppose most of you remember the childhood story of the big bad wolf who huffed and puffed and blew the house down. Well Mad Dog Harold huffed and puffed but the only house that got blown down was his. You see along came the bankruptcy trustee and his lawyer, they produced facts that blew Mad Dogs playhouse down. It was revealed that Mad Dog had been lying the whole time. In fact Mad Dog had been stealing peoples money and using it on himself and his children. Bad Mad Dog!! Mad Dog still goes around to peoples homes and businesses, but now he is met with very little respect, in fact he has been invited to leave several places. It has been a hard fall from grace.

    Nowadays I hear that Mad Dog Jeffreys gets confused, went a couple of weeks without getting out of bed. Mad Dog even had to stop wearing a belt, and has had to eat with only a spoon. Someone said Mad Dog was walking around in circles at Burger King in Priceville screaming “I can’t beleive they caught me, I thought I had the wagons circled”. Rumor has it that Mad Dogs wife and best friend Jerry Knight has to corral him up and take Mad Dog home.

    The moral of this story, don’t be like Mad Dog Jeffreys, don’t steal money and then get your kids sued because you were using them as scapegoats. Don’t bring shame to the family name, and what ever you do don’t get your family in a position that they can’t even get work in their chosen profession. Bottom line, don’t be like Mad Dog Jeffreys!!!

    When will the madness end???

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    Replies
    1. You waste so much time posting stupid shit that nobody reads. You are aware if the fact that you look stupid I assume so now you know that nobody reads your stupid shit

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    2. You always say rumor has it which means it's made up bull shit which is also called a lie while Glendas is being played out in real life as nothing but the truth about Franklin and her fools

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    3. Glenda speaks nothing but the truth, pure as the driven snow I tell you!!!

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    4. It looks that way seeing that everything she post is out in public and in living color. Franklin and her fools are scared little fuks at this point and have no idea what's about to happen. Next I think it is absolutely hilarious

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