Cognitive Dissonance & Fiscal Illiteracy

I know, I know—Big Words.  Cognitive dissonance is confusion resulting from dichotomous & opposing views about one principle.  Sir David is the personification of cognitive dissonance.  His latest publicly embarrassing rant is about deputy pay raises. Morgan fumes to WEAR:

“It’s nonnegotiable,” Sheriff Morgan exclaimed. “We’ll settle this in front of Governor Scott. We’re not going to negotiate this. This is nonsense, I’m done. I have a board of county commissioners unfortunately that appears to believe that they’re smarter than we are…..It’s OK for an officer to catch a bullet from a thug, but county commission won’t give them a pay raise.”

While these statements have a great deal of truth to them, the BOCC is smarter than any and all the admin at the ECSO & the officers that retired in 2009 had more longevity with greater performance based success that reflect in the crime numbers.  They also had higher standards to pass on a day to day basis. According to sources at the academy, as many as 65% don’t pass the full curriculum.  Of that remaining 35%, a high percentage  (what is estimated to be half) of them find their first couple of months in FTO, proves to them  that a place in this agency is not for them. Now that could be because the people being recruited come from PCC (sounds like a punchline but it is, unfortunately, true) or because the standards have been so low to populate approximately 2.5 times the number of classes churning through the academy than any other point in the last 15 years.

To get back to the cognitive dissonance of Morgan’s latest tantrum on the news lies in the fact that while he accuses the BOCC of letting his deputies “take a bullet for a thug” rather than get a raise, he fails to disclose the increase in the budget at the beginning of this year that he BLEW on hiring an “UnderSheriff” to soak up funds to populate 1 job position for 2 of his followers, Chip Simmons & Eric Haines. Two salaries for 1 job that has been parceled out to 2 people. A colossal waste of funds.  Not to mention the money, he gave Andy Hobbs, David Ingram and Amber Southard that makes every raise in the ECSO look like chump change; his fiscal illiteracy provides the cognitive dissonance we see today.  Yet his strategy is to bitch about and shame the BOCC members when he, not them, wasted approximately $200K in these horrible decisions to stack the top of his agency rather than put the money towards the rebuilding of the agency he single-handedly dismantled by forcing out 62 deputies last year.

Now let’s talk about that number, 62. Of those 62 who left the agency last year, at least a third have entered into civil suits for discrimination, civil rights violations and sexual harassment against Morgan personally and professionally. That is a skyrocketing number of suits against any ONE Sheriff. Another meritorious distinction this non LEO sheriff claims.

To simplify this for some of the current admin at the ECSO and the Honorable Sheriff, you can’t bitch about how the BOCC regards your deputies’ pocket book when you already stole from them too. That is cognitive dissonance–berating someone for something they shouldn’t do when you did it as well but don’t think you should be berated or judged. Hypocritical is another term in this case that would apply.  The money in the budget he gave to Chip Simmons, Amber Southard, David Ingram & Andy Hobbs. They got the money that deputies deserved. Morgan mismanaged that money by rewarding his favorites in a grandiose fashion, leaving the rest in the cold.

That brings us to the fiscal illiteracy. The fiscal illiteracy refers to his failing to manage the agency in the way it should be, despite the fact the Honorable Sheriff claims he can. I don’t know, maybe Webster University’s graduate level business classes,  37+ years ago, didn’t prepare Morgan to actually use numbers as high as the Honorable Sheriff has to work with today. Maybe there are too many big numbers for him to understand in one budget. I don’t know.

Let’s look at the over all money issues historically Morgan has had:

*in the military, he allegedly was skimming government money via credit cards, resulting in his early retirement

*the mishandling of the budget regarding the jail that resulted in him losing the oversight of that jail

*the employee that embezzled $150K from the LET fund for years without anyone knowing and his CFO keeping his job even though he facilitated larceny

*the citizens’ complaints on how LET money is spent resulting in an investigation by the State Attorney.

There is a pattern of misappropriation.  It seems very clear to those of us who pay attention.

The conclusion, based on the past history of this Honorable Sheriff leads to the reasonable assessment that, either he is criminally responsible for misappropriation of taxpayer funds as well as mismanaging criminal justice principles and personnel necessary for a LEO agency in the 21st century,

OR

He has been given too much responsibility for his capability.  He cannot seem to handle doing the duties of his post, which is to maintain law and order while sustaining the county’s fiscal well being and safety.

You decide.

I almost forgot to give a shout out to Gerry Champagne for trolling and liking my FB page for Florida Open Gov. Initiative.

CORRECTION:

I mistakenly said that 65% failed the academy. That is incorrect. The cadets go through the academy fine; it is 65% failing out of FTO or discovering this job is not for them.  My Bad.

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Good Ole Boy System is Alive & Well

Gerald Champagne, Attorney for Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

Hired in 2010 at a rate of $35 per hour.

Then in 2012, Mr. Champagne’s Salary jumped more than the 3% merit raise he received every year.
His prior employment contract was replaced by this.
Since then he’s jumped even more to this.
As of last year, his pay is now: $170,498 per year which based on his contract is roughly $80 per hours at 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. ¬†What was even more telling was the number of people who make over $100K a year at the Sheriff’s office.
Florida OpenGov -- County Payrolls.clipular
Source: FloridaOpenGov.org