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Saturday, July 28, 2018

We just can't let this one go.

Blogger Comments:  We have 49 sheriffs that we believe have taken inmate food funds.  Most likely a lot of inmate food funds.  Do these sheriffs understand State Attorney General Legal Opinions?  Where were some of these sheriffs educated?  How did they become law enforcement officers?  Are we to believe that the sheriffs believed taking inmate food funds was a God-given right?  Did they believe that just because the Alabama Sheriffs Association said it is ok that they believed it without their own research?  When Sheriff Bartlett and Sheriff Blakely bought the truckload of corn dogs and Sheriff Bartlett was arrested and jailed overnight for the way he fed the inmates Blakely was smart enough to ask for a legal opinion.  Did you sheriffs out there throughout the state think that the opinion was meant for Sheriff Blakely only?  Surely sheriffs know better than that.  Well! Maybe not as it turns out.  At least 49 sheriffs are in the category that they refused to turn over public records that pertain to the inmate food funds.  

With all the work and research that has gone into the old 1930's law that gave sheriffs the privilege to take inmate food funds, some very brave public officials such as Senator Arthur Orr, the Governor Kay Ivey, the State Attorney Generals Legal Opinion dtd 20 April 2011 at the request of Sheriff Blakely what part of this does the sheriffs not understand.  The food money is not your money.  All of the money taken since the 2011 legal opinion should be paid back to the office of sheriffs around the state.

Nobody is that stupid.  The legal opinion is written at a 6th-grade level.  

Of course, we say that but Sheriff Ana Franklin says she did not know better.  She said she was told by others the money was hers for the taking.  Sheriff Franklin apparently forgot about the opinion that she received from Attorney Shinn (retired) County Attorney before taking office.  Of course, once taking office Billable Barney Lovelace was able to help Sheriff Franklin muddle through the laws of our state.  Maybe that is why Franklin was held in contempt of court.  We have seen Billable Barney first hand in the courtroom.  Billable Barney is a bully and a spring butt.  He absolutely cannot keep his mouth shut.

With all the support surrounding the public officials who demand change from the old antiquated law, we believe that change is coming.  

It's a shame that the sheriffs that took inmate food funds can't be locked up and feed the crap they feed the inmates.

When sheriffs and their followers are arrested they will not get a menu with assorted foods to chose from.  No steak cooked as you desire.  No over easy eggs, lightly buttered toast, no cooked to perfection grits, and no other specialty meals.  We hear that Greg Steenson can tell you all about jail food, making his cell nice and tight, and no frayed carpet to walk on not to mention the shower accommodations.  He doesn't get to clean the shower after others use it.  Jail is no place for those who are neat freaks.

Decatur Daily - Our View

Reform jail food funding now

  • Updated 
    • After years of embarrassing controversies, Alabama’s antiquated system of feeding its county jail inmates could finally be coming to a well-deserved end. And it may happen with simply a change of accounting.
      State Comptroller Kathleen Baxter is considering an alteration in the wording of expense affidavits that sheriffs must present before receiving state funding for inmate food.
      According to Gov. Kay Ivey’s legal office, “The comptroller is working on adding language to the affidavit that will require sheriffs to acknowledge that the funds must be used only for the purpose for which they have been appropriated, which is consistent with the 2011 opinion of the attorney general.”
      The 2011 opinion specifies that a sheriff may not use surplus funds “for any purpose other than future expenses in feeding prisoners.”
      This simple clerical change would seemingly end the longstanding and controversial practice of county sheriffs being able to pocket as personal income money left over from the feeding of jail inmates under their supervision.
      For years, some sheriffs have made extra money — sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars — under a Depression-era funding system that gave them a perverse incentive to feed inmates poorly.
      No one knows for sure how much money most sheriffs have kept for themselves. The Southern Center for Human Rights recently sued numerous Alabama sheriffs for failing to divulge how much inmate food money they have kept. The sheriffs have argued the information is not public because the money is their personal income, creating a Catch-22: If the money weren’t personal income, sheriffs couldn’t keep it and the public would have a right to know how much money they weren’t keeping, but because the money is personal income, the sheriffs can keep it and the public doesn’t have a right to know, or so the sheriffs have claimed.
      The governor already has ended the comptroller’s practice of issuing “food service allowance” checks to sheriffs personally. The food service allowance is a payment that covers costs related to feeding inmates, but not the food cost itself.That practice stemmed from a 2008 opinion by then-Attorney General Troy King. King interpreted a statute that says the sheriff can “keep and retain” surplus funds relating to the feeding of inmates as meaning a sheriff could personally keep them, as opposed to the sheriff’s office keeping the surplus.
      This has led to excesses that have resulted in the entire system coming under scrutiny.
      A federal judge in 2009 held Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett, who made $212,000 over three years off excess food funds, in contempt of court for failing to feed inmates properly. More recently, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, who lost his bid for re-election, released tax forms showing he made a profit of $672,392 from the jail kitchen in 2015 and 2016.
      Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin in 2015 withdrew $150,000 from a bank account labeled “Morgan County Sheriff’s Food Account” and loaned the money to a now-bankrupt auto dealership.
      All this, and especially the case in Etowah County, has driven Ivey and others to act.Morgan County voters will have the opportunity Nov. 6 to vote for a local amendment that would end the practice in Morgan County, and lawmakers are still pushing for legislation to end it statewide, regardless of the changes made by the comptroller.
      State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, still has plans to introduce legislation. He said the issue is politically difficult because the Alabama Sheriffs Association and the Association of County Commissions of Alabama have both resisted change.
      The Sheriffs Association worries a change would reduce sheriffs’ wages, and county commissioners fear their counties will get stuck with costs or responsibilities in feeding inmates.
      The comptroller’s actions may make Orr’s legislation redundant, but legislative action is needed anyway. There are no guarantees about how future governors may interpret the law.
      Alabama should end this arcane practice while there is political will to do so.


  1. I bet the sheriffs around the state wake up every morning thanking Ana for bringing the abuse to light. Especially the Etowha County sheriff who claims to be under investigation. I hope they get em all.

    1. If she wouldn't have treated her employees like crap (most of them ex by now), except for her few little buddies and if she didn't think she was so high and mighty and her sh** didn't stink, the 90% of employees that turned on her would not have. You reap what you sow Ana.....Karma.

  2. Biggest turnover for a Sheriff ever?