Having these sheriffs swear that they will not take inmate food funds will be about as effective as telling folk who participate in the running of the bulls that nobody will get hurt. We have 49 sheriffs out there who have a reason for not wanting the public to see how much money they have taken. Folks, how many times has Sheriff Ana Franklin made comments that were just bald face lies. We can tell you. A lot. Having Franklin sign a voucher and expect her to abide by the documents is as worthless as tits on a boar hog. Maybe Ana can release the records the Daily has requested on the inmate food funds.
We disagree with the Chairman of the Alabama Sheriffs Association that the Comptroller is trying to write the law. Laws are written by Legislatures and the State Attorney Generals give legal opinions (which by the way have the force of law), and the State Agencies write policy and procedures to apply the state law. Apparently when Greg Bartlett and Mike Blakely got their hands caught in the corndog cookie jar Blakey submitted a request for an opinion to the State of Alabama Attorney General. The Attorney General at the time Luther Strange ruled in part that
"Any surplus in the food service allowance for feeding prisoners in the county jail should be retained by the Limestone County Sheriff's Office unless the county commission has adopted a resolution directing that the allowance be paid into the county general fund."
"Based on the facts presented, neither the sheriff nor the county may use the surplus for any purpose other than future expenses in feeding prisoners."
Is it Mr. Timmons' opinion that the State Attorney General Opinion dtd April 20, 2011 only applies to Sheriff Blakely? Probably. Or does he believe that the opinion isn't worth the paper it is written on, that; Blakely is not required by law to abide by the opinion? Sounds like Mr. Timmons is trying to write a few laws himself. Apparently, he has had so much power over our elected officials that he thinks he is the law or above the law. Kinda makes you understand why Franklin feels so high and mighty. How many states within the U.S. have 49 sheriffs that took money that doesn't belong to them?
It may interest some of you to google Ex parte Holladay, 466 So. 2d 956, 960 (Ala. 1985).
It sounds as if Timmons supports the old antiquated law to the excess of Etowah County Sheriff who took $750,000.00 over a three-year timeframe. Or the conduct of Sheriff Ana Franklin who invested $150,000.00 in one year to a now-bankrupt used car dealership. Remember the one her cousin Greg Steenson is involved in that racked up 15 felony counts for him and Franklin's ex-boyfriend who also racked up 15 felonies due to his misconduct surrounding the Title Marts.
Decatur Daily is wise to ask Sheriff Franklin to allow them to review her books from 1 January 2014 - Present. It is our belief that Entriken can't hold a candle to Ana in regards to his inmate food fund spending spree. Does Timmons really believe that this kind of conduct is acceptable? Of course, he does. He isn't going to jail. Maybe he doesn't know what it's like to go hungry.
Folks, the only way this issue can be fixed is to rewrite the antiquated law that Timmons and some corrupt sheriffs want to use to take money that doesn't belong to them. None of these folks believe that what applies to Blakely doesn't apply to them. Apparently, if you don't like the legal opinions don't use them is their way of thinking. We can't wait until this issue is addressed in court or and these sheriffs must release their documents.
What will Timmons do? Pat the poor sheriffs on the back and say there there?
Timmons goes on to say the sheriffs would prefer to get out of the business of funding the purchase of inmate food. Well! of course, they would. Many of them have been caught red-handed. They don't want to lose their next election. It seems to us at this point that many of the sheriffs have little credibility. In our book, Timmons in our book needs to go as well. We are proud of the employees of the Morgan County Jail and worked so diligently with others to clean up Morgan County. Mr. Timmons, we have no money to fight big lobbyist such as the Alabama Sheriffs Association but we do have a voice.
Sheriffs have no right to take inmate food funds. You should become a part of the fix and not be a part of the problem. You have 49 sheriffs that should release their books on inmate food funds. That would be a slap in the face for you because many of them are going to be as dirty as Franklin and Entriken.
State Senator Arthur Orr, is pushing for statewide legislation during the upcoming session.
In the Decatur Daily Article Timmons is like a nat with his on legal opinion. "Timmons said the state has a mandatory duty under state law to issue the payments, that it can't reject or delay payments based on a sheriff's refusal to abide by a condition not authorized by state law." Thank you, Mr. Timmons, for your legal opinion. By the way, if you are so sure of what rumbles from your lips why don't you ask for a legal opinion? Most likely you would not like the answer. Timmons appears to be giving a lot of advice such as "If I was a sheriff, I'd sign the form and send it in, but I'd probably strike through the sections that (swear to limit the use of the money to food expenses). Of course, you would Mr. Timmons. Thank you for the legal advice.
Timmons goes on to say he sure would hate for it to go that way. He claims he would hate to tie up the court time and hate to have a state employee served notice to be in court. We hope that at least 49 sheriffs are going to be served notice to be in court. Will Mr. Timmons be there to support them when the day comes.