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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Settled.

Blogger Comments:  There have been a lot of painstaking work that has gone into the blog.  We plan on reinstalling our blogs previously removed in the near future.  We worked hard to set the record straight.  No regrets.  We believe that politicians work for us the citizens.  There have been a lot of Alabama politicians brought up on charges for their misconduct.  Hopefully, more will be forthcoming.  To include Sheriff Blakely.  Anyone that doesn't know about Blakely's gambling habits must have their head in the sand.  

As for the whistleblower, you may wonder what she will do now.  Keep blogging of course.  Writing a tell-all book, stay family-oriented, and continue full force ahead with our business.  

Many of you will say that the whistleblower and Leon rolled.  Not so.  If you read the Daily it is evident that there was a lot going on in the previous sheriff's administration.  Some will be disappointed that these folks got off lightly.  Maybe.  Those are things beyond our control.  We do our best; the legal system does the rest.

Some things that were accomplished is that none of those identified are still in office, and those that chose to follow are no longer in law enforcement.    We have a new sheriff who is doing an outstanding job.  Last but not least we met some outstanding folks that work for the SO that did the right thing.  If you ever have any doubts go back and read the archives of the Decatur Daily, the New York Times, newspapers and magazines around the nation.

The previous sheriff has two years of probation to think about some of the things she did.  In addition, 300 hours of community service, and possibly more.   The real kicker is that the previous sheriff cannot leave North Alabama without permission.  That blows when you are a socialite.  We hope the community service fits the crime.  We know her previous boyfriend had it made in the shade.  We also can't help but wonder if her attorney will ever quit filing additional issues with the Federal Courts.  What a spring butt.


Former Morgan sheriff settles two more lawsuits


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More than three years and thousands of court filings after then-Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin and her deputies coordinated ill-fated searches at the home of her jail warden and the business of a blogger foe, the lawsuits arising from the searches have settled.
The settlements bring to an almost complete end the dizzying array of litigation that surrounded Franklin through much of her second term in office and persisted in the months that followed her departure.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a blog harshly critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said Friday. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
He said Franklin was relieved to have the lawsuits behind her.
"Litigation is no fun, except maybe for the lawyers," he said.
Lockhart on Friday said she also was restricted in commenting.
"The only thing I can say is that I'm glad it's over, but I'd do it again," she said.
In nearly identical one-page documents, the parties to the separate lawsuits stipulated Oct. 31 that all claims should be permanently dismissed, and U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala obliged with dismissal orders.
In addition to Franklin, Wilson and Robinson, Bradley’s lawsuit named the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and information technology employee Justin Powell as defendants. Franklin left office without seeking a third term in January, and none of the defendants remain employed at the Sheriff’s Office.
Bradley’s lawyer, Nick Heatherly, declined to comment, and Brandi Lee, Lockhart’s lawyer, did not return calls.
While the dollar amount of the settlement is confidential, court records show that the Association of County Commissions of Alabama Liability Self-Insurance Fund, the insurer for Morgan County, intervened in both lawsuits and was involved in ongoing mediation.
Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said Friday he had not been informed the cases were over.
“That’s good if they’ve settled,” Long said. “That’s just something the people of Morgan County won’t have to listen to anymore, something else to be cleared up. We’ll be glad to have it over.”
Of the many court proceedings in which Franklin was involved, most as a defendant, only one appears active.
Franklin last month was sentenced to two years probation and 300 hours of community service after she pleaded guilty to willful failure to file an income tax return, a misdemeanor. This case is the only one that is not entirely resolved. Several sealed pleadings have been filed since the federal magistrate judge issued the written order outlining the terms of her probation, which included a prohibition on her possessing firearms. A hearing is scheduled in that case in Huntsville on Tuesday.In September, a lawsuit filed by Franklin, Wilson and Robinson against Bradley and Glenda Lockhart’s grandson, Daniel Lockhart, was dismissed.
That lawsuit, filed in January, also arose indirectly out of the October 2016 searches. It focused on testimony Daniel Lockhart gave in an April 2018 hearing and an order by then-Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson. Thompson’s order determined the searches were illegal, and accepted Lockhart’s testimony that he was a paid informant for the sheriff and had installed keylogger software on his grandmother’s computers. Because the search was illegal, Thompson dismissed a resulting misdemeanor charge that had been filed against Bradley.
The lawsuit by Franklin and the former deputies was thrown out by Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self, who was assigned to the case after all Morgan County judges recused themselves.
In August, Franklin settled a lawsuit brought by Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson seeking to recoup inmate food money he alleged she had illegally placed in a personal bank account. Franklin returned $45,000 of the account’s $55,000 balance to resolve the lawsuit.
In January, Franklin settled a claim by the bankruptcy trustee of Priceville Partners LLC, a now-defunct title loan and used car business. Franklin loaned the company, part owned by convicted felon Greg Steenson, $150,000 in jail-food money.
Her filing of a proof of claim brought to public attention her violation of a 2009 court order prohibiting Morgan County sheriffs from personally benefiting from surplus money designated for feeding inmates. The trustee not only refused to acknowledge her claim as a creditor, he accused her of fraudulent transfers. Franklin settled the claim by agreeing she would only recoup her loan in the unlikely event all unsecured creditors were paid in full, and paying $34,000.
In June 2017, Franklin entered into a settlement of a claim by the Southern Center for Human Rights alleging her loan to Priceville Partners violated the 2009 court order. She refunded the money to the Sheriff’s Office food account and agreed to a $1,000 civil contempt fine.
Steenson remains in Morgan County Jail without bond, awaiting a scheduled Feb. 3 trial on felony counts related to his management of Priceville Partners.— eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.




3 comments:

  1. You did a great job in revealing Ana. I hope Mr Bradley gets his job back with back pay. While I never worked for Mr Bradley I have served as a correctional officer for many years as did my wife. We moved to Hartselle for retirement many years ago.

    We have been fortunate to have made friends with some current and former officers at the Hartselle Police Dept and at the Sheriffs Office. Things were bad with Ana very bad and she should be in prison. Had you not brought her to light I believe she would still be there.

    However I disagree with the assertion that we have an outstanding sheriff now. He is a good sheriff and better than Ana but he’s not outstanding. Officers in Hartselle often complained about their non gun toting chief and his eight to four pm day schedule. They liked him but he did not let them be pro active.

    As Sheriff he is just as much of a publicity hound as Ana was. Taking drug seizures from traffic stops as many departments do many times daily and sensationalizing them into press releases. While he has been sheriff drug raids are more evident than they were when Ana was there they have all been in Decatur while the county rural areas still have drug problems have yet to be touched.

    Last removing or eliminated eight officer positions in the jail and saying that this wouldn’t bother safety or security in the jail. Yet since then at least two inmates have died and the first escape from the most secure area of the jail and telling us that the inmate had help but yet no one has been charged with helping.

    A former inmate who was in the jail when the escape occurred and was out when interviewed on local television news said the escapee had been gone for hours before his escape was discovered. Even the sheriffs PIO said he had been gone for 45 minutes before being discovered and remember from the most secure part of the jail.

    The PIO also went to great lengths telling us all as to how the escape was conducted by even leaving the tied sheets used left hanging from the jail wall for a photo op. Speaking of photo ops when the escapee was brought back he was brought into the jail from the parking lot and not driven into the sally port security area Publicly over safety.

    No he’s not outstanding he’s just better. Hopefully he will improve to meet the title of outstanding. Oh don’t call the sheriffs office like with Ana the call will not be answered or the new sheriff won’t call you back. It took me driving to Decatur to see him.

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  2. First and foremost Happy Veterans Day to all who have served Thank You!

    Second congrats on the Warden and the WB on their success and their sacrifice in getting the word out on Morgan County’s most corrupt Sheriff. I too hope the warden gets his job back.


    I must chime in on our new Sheriff as well. While I have and still have hopes of a complete turn around there I am as a supporter upset at the way he handled the death of a department K-9.

    One of the departments K-9s passed in its sleep. The deputy did not hear from the sheriff as he should have until the funeral for the dog. The deputy received no directions on what to do with the deceased dog so the deputy at his own expense paid for the dogs cremation

    The service for the dog was furnished by a Decatur funeral home, it was not requested by the sheriff nor by anyone else in charge

    These K-9 deputies risk their lives and go through extensive and continuous training just like their two legged partner deputies do. Most all departments that have these highly trained dogs pay proper and appropriate respect and have a plan to do so if these dogs pass while being a part of the department.

    This wasn’t done in this case and I’m very surprised and disappointed in the department as a whole. The sheriff has chosen to digress and not replace the K-9 which probably explains as to why this death was handled so poorly K-9s are apparently not wanted in this sheriffs term of office. He can do better.

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  3. Yea I heard that about the dog also, it could have been handled better.
    On another note it’s great when the truth prevails I just wish the judge would have made Franklin admit to being a liar to the county while under oath!!

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