Blogger Comments: What would happen to a civilian if they acted, in the same manner, outgoing sheriffs are alleged to have acted? What would happen to a civilian who stole money from their employer before leaving? We will not be surprised at how much money, equipment, posse gear, and the property that went out the door with the losers that were defeated or cowardly decided to call it quits.
In most cases, we believe the public will never know. We would love to see the state come in and audit the sheriff's offices in question. If it is determined that property, money, or other valuables belonging to the SO has been taken, the state should lock them up.
For far too many years sheriffs have had way too much power. They still do. Governor Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall together may be able to rein the renegade sheriffs back under control.
We must also remember most law enforcement isn't bad but it only takes a few bad apples.
Timmons, the head of the Alabama Sheriffs Association said: "it's common for sheriffs to engage in small feuds with their successors." Timmons went on to say: "The one that gets defeated, he doesn't want to be defeated, he doesn't want to lose, " he said. "And it may have been a dirty campaign, so you've got a hate pattern then."
Folks, hate is a mighty strong word. If that "hate" turned into committing criminal acts, the outgoing sheriffs should be prosecuted. Is throwing the inmates' food away a criminal act? Is taking money from the sheriff's offices a criminal act? Is taking the sheriff's office's property a criminal act? Is causing damage to the facilities or plumbing a criminal act? If any of these actions have taken place shouldn't the outgoing sheriffs be prosecuted?
AL.com report: Newly elected Alabama sheriffs allege misconduct from predecessors
WHNT News 19 investigative reporter Chelsea Brentzel spoke with Connor Sheets, an investigative reporter with our news partners at AL.com. He told us they are working with ProPublica, an investigative newsroom based out of New York, on issues related to sheriffs in Alabama.
"Multiple sheriffs lost elections, and the new sheriffs that came in had a number of allegations and provided various records that the new sheriffs consider to be misconduct or worse," said Sheets.
Their first investigation details current Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims' experience when he took over former Sheriff Scott Walls' office.
Sheriff Sims alleges on his first day he found five-government issued cell phones with several holes drilled through them saying he later learned the phones belonged to walls and those in his administration. Sims also told AL.com an employee under the previous administration was apparently instructed to dump a 40-pound bag of rice down a jail drain. Officials said the rice created a clog and crews had to be hired to fix the drain.
Records obtained by AL.com indicate Walls wired tens of thousands of dollars to the sheriff’s office general fund and Sims alleges more than $30,000 was missing from another account. The article also highlights a series of purchases Sims calls unnecessary, including 20,000 rolls of toilet paper and hundreds of boxes of garbage bags.
Sheets anticipates publishing several articles regarding the power sheriff’s have in Alabama this year. AL.com’s investigation found that nine of the 10 sheriffs who beat incumbent sheriffs dealt with “last minute actions” by the former sheriff that had negative impacts on their offices.