A Word from Within the ECSO

The past couple of weeks have been refreshing. Our county has been plagued with the laughable attempt of Team Morgan to masquerade as cops. The leadership they fail to provide the good law enforcement officers who deserve good leadership has been exposed. Morgan failed to deliver his promise. One may ask how that happen. The facts are that Morgan has worn out his welcome. People have started to call him out and see him as the emperor with no clothes. Not having the ability to bully his way into place, he has realized he must rely on intelligence and ability. Morgan gets a dose of reality and is aware he has neither, as it relates to law enforcement. The result of this revelation is a full blown all out-baby fit.

I would be the first to pay an increase in my property taxes to fund a raise for law enforcement officers. Sadly, for Morgan, I also believe that I had the right as that tax payer to verify he had been a good steward of my money to this point. Morgan is not capable of being accountable and is offended by anyone that questions him. His idea of what a public servant is obligated to do, does not include being held accountable for his actions. The public does not have the right to question his authority. Therefore, he does not get his budget. Morgan is defeated for the first time in 8 1/2 years. The public had an opportunity to see who Morgan really is–the Morgan, as he is described in the multitude of lawsuits, filed concerning treatment of employees.

I would be happy to see a sheriff’s office that had twice the officers and three times their pay currently. The officer is not the issue. Morgan creates a situation that causes the appearance that everyone wants to punish cops. Facts would support that Morgan has provided well for a few of the favorites. In past budgets, he gave staff members promotions and pay increases, created positions for staff, got a spare chief, and created a publicity empire. Is it fair to blame the public or county commissioners for taking pause at his arrogance to demand more money?

We associate addicts as being dependent on narcotics. When an addict can’t get a fix, they will become angry and hostile. An addict will destroy their life and the life of anyone around in order to feed the addiction.  Morgan has demonstrated that his addiction to power and he is as destructive as a drug addict. The moment Morgan realized his power could be diminishing he began to destroy everything in his path to hold that power. Elected officials who are tasked with statutory fiduciary duties have been attacked by Morgan because they disagreed with him with personal attacks & spiteful actions designed to scare and shock the public. Morgan’s intentional acts to create chaos in the county he took an oath to protect is a direct violation of the public’s trust.

It is not difficult to see from the actions of some staff members that Morgan encourages rogue behavior. The B string chief is often seen berating citizens on social media. Any question posed to him results in an attack of your intelligence or a sermon outlining the superiority he has that you can’t possibly be able to question. The comments are arrogant and unprofessional. His attitude is offensive and one would sense he has the belief everyone is beneath him, exactly what Morgan would suggest when he sinks to childlike behavior because he doesn’t get his way.

The answer to officer retention is not as simple as giving a raise in wages. There need to be a raise in the effective leadership of the agency.  This leadership should create strong work ethics and promote professionalism. The tactic of destroying people because you may disagree with King David is flawed. Fear motivates the weak or uneducated. Forcing compliance through fear eliminates any chance that a competent employee will make the ECSO a long-term choice. Knowing that you could be considered a foe for any reason deemed appropriate by Team Morgan does not promote the desire to be loyal or to stay with the agency. The feeling of dread we all face walking into the ECSO is not conducive to a healthy work environment. The lack of leadership in the Morgan administration has destroyed the agency to the point it may take decades to recover.

A quick look into the Morgan money reveals so many questionable practices that it prompts people to want to scrutinize all his financial handlings in the name of Escambia County. The B string chief receiving two raises in one year, two chiefs, two incompetent Majors, public relations team, and billboards cause any person with a calculator to stop and ask questions. None of the money spent on these positions is being put to the best use possible. We see that law enforcement isn’t the priority to David Morgan. The main priority of the ECSO is elevating Morgan to celebrity political status.

As if his behavior, to this point, isn’t embarrassing enough, Morgan goes a step further to produce a television commercial naming officers shot in the line of duty. The audacity displayed is appalling. This poser uses terrible incidents that have occurred to officers in effort to advance his self-serving ways. Had this imposter ever patrolled a single shift anywhere near any of the incidents he references, it is possible that could be tolerated. He has not and he does not get to steal the sacrifices those officers made so he can play dress up in his big boy cop uniform and bully those who oppose his strong-arm tactics. If he had a conscience, he would not be able to sleep at night knowing he exploited real cops to further the game he is playing. This is clear proof he does not value what those cops went through because he has no life experience to reflect on that resembles being an actual law enforcement officer

A person defending Morgan successfully would have to convince the public of many things at this point. Morgan has had dozens of employees file court actions against him. Many of those cases have been paid out and settlements reached out of tax payer money. Currently there are close to a dozen law suits pending. Morgan claims no wrongdoing. Consider that Morgan has fought with dozens of employees, BOCC, media outlets, over spending practices, extra duty employers and former elected officials. His administrarion staff (non-front line, cushy sedentary positions) has ballooned as has their salaries. Deputies will not stay at the agency to work. Crime is on the rise. Morgan’s answer to this. Pay for a billboard to give the big middle finger to people that have exercised a right to hold him accountable for his careless spending.

I suggest that the commissioners request an audit of the ECSO. Not the typical rubber stamp audit that Morgan refers to so often. Examine the employees that have separated in the past three years from the ECSO. A quick glance would reveal that the current B string chief could be the reason that retention is impossible. In the three years that he has been in that position the separation of officers compared to the previous three years is double. Is that just a weird coincidence? Add to that the proactive law enforcement activities plummeted in the same time. FYI that is why so many tickets are written for minor infractions. Because of incompetent leaders at the ECSO innocent people are subject to harassment from over achieving followers not equipped with the necessary skills or backbone to resist orders that are given to create an illusion of cops working hard on the street. The ones that do resist suffer retaliatory actions of Morgan.

Morgan often finds a partner to rally with to get what he wants. The budget issue is not different. Underhill has a love affair with Morgan that is somewhere between Fatal Attraction and Gone with the Wind.  If anyone would suggest that Underhill should be considered when discussing Morgan budget ask them a few questions. First, would it be wise to take budget advice from an individual will the bankruptcy record he has? If I had children I would not hire a pedophile as a babysitter any more than I would consider Underhill’s budget advice. If I am ever in need of complete financial failure advice Underhill would be the guy. However, Underhill is doing well financially at Morgan’s side. Morgan has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Underhill’s pet projects. I should give Morgan credit for supporting all of those under privileged children lost in that terrible private school system and being forced into those menacing gifted classes. There is a possibility that without Morgan and Underhill those poor children would have to attend a regular college and miss the chance to attend an Ivy League institution.

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Commissioner Bergosh is proving to be exactly what our county needs. I believe he was a quick study and has seen through Morgan and his sidekick. I hope that Commissioner Bergosh will ask for all the employees that have left the sheriff’s office and find a common denominator in the reason for separation. Find out how much money has been wasted on the appalling treatment of employees. How much money is our county spending on attorneys and settlements? I would wager that if he attempts that there will be another baby fit thrown by Morgan and minions. The fear they have for an outsider coming in and exposing the wrongs they have committed is too risky. They must fight to avoid true transparency.

My question at this point is simple. Morgan said he wants to go to Gov. Scott. I believe the statement was his bags are packed and he is ready. Why are you still begging then? They voted 4-1 that you will not get the budget you demanded. Your clothes will wrinkle if you don’t get them out of that bag. Either go to Gov. Scott or shut up. I would suggest that you cooperate and justify you spending but we all know that can’t happen.  There is not ever a desperate situation only desperate people. We won’t buy what you are peddling Sir. David. The situation is not dire you but looking foolish is. Continue to threaten you will  not do your job and you may just be invited over to see Gov. Scott.

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The First Domino Falls

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To my great shock, the BOCC denied the increased millage which Sir David tried to shove down their throats. The most amazing thing is how verbally they expressed their contempt for the Sheriff’s tactics. Each of them, except for Underling, spoke to the press push that Morgan tried to use to get his way.  Underhill was the lone dissident vote, not surprisingly.

The issue here is not the raises for deputies; the issue is why Morgan hasn’t made it a priority. In April alone, Morgan gave away $35K to Underhill’s pet projects.  Assuming the starting salary of $35K, Morgan could have used the money he gave away to fund the Sheriff’s portion of 2 SRO’s–not to mention $5K to Pensacola Opera, $20K to PACE Center for Girls, $20K for Panhandle Charitable Open. That’s another $45K that could go to 2 1/2 more SRO’s salaries. While no one is saying these charities aren’t worthy (the opera is questionable), Morgan is spending money on all these things INSTEAD OF SRO’S.

The most ironic part is the article I found that Sir David wrote:

The pre-elected Morgan seems much more honorable and reasonable than the drastic contrast of the 3 term sheriff. It is funny when I was talking to people about what was going on in the county, I used the word “corruption” and I was told, “No, I wouldn’t say corruption; it is just the ‘good ole boy system'”.  By not using the word, it was like it was somewhat better than what it is. It is power that corrupts and we see this demonstrated in front of us with this article from several years ago and the issues of today. The budget has always been a point of contention for the Sheriff’s office and BOCC. But the tactics of this Sheriff are sophomoric and not in good faith. Good faith isn’t a concept 3-term Morgan knows at all.

 

Do You Really Know Your Sheriff? Part 2

In case there are any questions about the performance of Ye Olde Sheriff, please consider this: the LET investigation of money mishandling is simply another red flag.

For those who may not know, the failure to disclose his military record is because Morgan made a deal with the Air Force. They were investigating him for misappropriation of funds (government credit card). This is the story that has come out of close friends that would be “in the know”, but Morgan eventually screwed them over. That is also how Morgan met Susan. She was with OSI and investigated him. The Air Force allowed him to retire quietly but he had to go. No criminal charges if he chose to do so. This story comes from multiple directions but it is the same account. However, the documentation is not there for the general public.

But I’ll play the devil’s advocate for a moment. If this doesn’t problematic for you as something that is not tangible enough, there are other incidents that show a predilection or pattern of behavior.

LETTER-TO-SHERIFF panhandle politico

Recently a letter came out in PanhandlePolitico.com that was correspondence from an internal employee displaying the in-fighting that goes on with this administration, but the most fascinating thing in that letter is worth noting. It confirms what I have always suspected. The writer talks about flagrant disregard for checks and balances within the accounting department, especially as it pertains to seized assets. Henrique Dias, the CFO at the ECSO, seems to be less concerned about properly handling money than he is about employee retribution. We are not talking about children. We are talking about custodians of your money.

Henrique Dias is a character. He was arrested for soliciting a prostitute years prior to his employment. It was ultimately not prosecuted but after I shared this, last year, with many others via the Escambia Clerk’s site, it disappeared. Expunged most likely, but that doesn’t mean it did not happen. It is not just me but employees describe Dias as sketchy and over the last few years, he has ingratiated himself to Morgan–so much so, that Morgan put him in charge of his campaign money.

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This seems counterintuitive. A supervisor, who has one employee found to be stealing over $1 million but has no clue until she retires, seems like a poor manager. Then, to see that same CFO show reckless disregard in the previous correspondence mentioned, certainly doesn’t reassure a rational person that he is competent to handle more responsibility.

In a private sector job, Dias would be held responsible for the money that walked out the door under his nose–at some level, to some degree. Then when he failed to comply with checks and balances put into place to prevent such an occurrence again, his boss should be questioning his ability to handle the burden of the county’s money. But instead of that, Morgan lets him handle his personal campaign money too.  Things that make you go hhmmm…

Now getting back to Morgan’s money skill. While he was not charged criminally, a source close to the governor claims that the infractions brought to light in Escambia County with the mis-spending of the LET fund were a state-wide plague.  There are 64 counties in Florida and David Morgan’s perversion of this liberty is a symptom of a bigger issue that cannot be handled by arrest and prosecution. The governor opted to change the legislation to address the problem but there for a few days, before this was decided to be the method to which the governor would handle this mis-spending, Morgan got quiet.  He sought counsel with a private attorney.  Why?  There was a moment in time that he was not sure he was going to jail over this action. If his intentions were as pure as he claims, would this have been the case?

Here’s the point here. whether any of the military accusations are true or the LET fund spending was “uncriminal” may be up for debate. However, the fact that Cathy Lister stole $1 million of the county’s money, there is a problem.Read her story.

Then going back to the letter above. It took almost 3 years for a system to be implemented after that to prevent future theft. That is unacceptable. To add insult to injury for the CFO to be resistant to these changes which are beneficial to the community indicates he should not have a job, yet he is given Morgan’s money to “handle” for his campaign.  Why? There is more than a sliver of question as to the integrity of this administration’s money handling.

Where does the buck stop in this administration?

I have not even mentioned the jail. The money grab from the BOCC that turned into them taking away of the jail. Again why?  It was money. Morgan had no interest in the jail or the conservation of that responsibility. He wanted more money to play with and when he was questioned by Gene Valentino, he started a political feud with him and turned over the jail. Why?

If you have any question about the management or mismanagement of county funds, you must consider changing the tide and voting Morgan out. He is the common denominator of all the issues.

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow  

 

 

The Honorable Sheriff Morgan: Personification of Hubris

In the face of an active investigation of his misuse and misappropriation of LET funds,  Sir David shamelessly boasts about his fleecing the county on Facebook.

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This is an attempt to deceive the public into believing that what he did is lawful. However, if it was 100% above board, would the State Attorney be investigating this? The answer is NO. Sources inside the SAO claim that Pam Bondi has put Bill Eddins on notice that she expects him to do his job so that she won’t have to intervene. Clearly, there is some indication of concern of a cover-up. The implication here is indicative that Ms. Bondi foresees the gravitas of the issues coming out of this investigation. For example the impeachment or removal of county commissioners as well as ye olde Sheriff.

The members of the BOCC were suppose to govern this fund. The director of Management and Budget Services, Amy Lovoy was not aware of the necessity of the commissioners to monitor the fund. She has reportedly stated that very thing to the State Attorney’s office.  What that means is that the standard practice– as long as she has been involved–has been in violation of the statute. County Commissioners were also “unaware” of their duties. According to an opinion from Ms. Bondi’s site:

Att’y Gen. Fla. 81-99 (1981) (board of county commissioners vested with exclusive authority to decide appropriation of contraband trust funds to the sheriff’s office). See also Op. Att’y Gen. Fla. 78-55 (1978), concluding that it is the duty and responsibility of the governing bodies of the affected counties and municipalities to approve or disapprove the expenditures from, and the appropriation of, funds collected under the contraband forfeiture act.

But folks we are dealing with people who reap huge salaries and haven’t read their own job description or the statutes that define how the county is supposed to work. HELLO! The bad thing is that Morgan seems to have played all of them. They look like fools for his crimes and yes, the misappropriation of over $1Million is a crime. Some organizations may even be compelled to return the funds which could throw this entire fiasco into an oblivion of chaos. These agencies, like the Filipino-American Club, has no justification to receive these funds; they have not provided documents to show that the money was appropriated to the specifications of the statute.

Historically, in the state of Florida, any money granted to an agency from special trust funds like this has caveats that be accountability as to how the money was spent. When that is not complied with–even assuming they were funded in good faith with crime/drug prevention in mind–it was required to be repaid. Grants and trust funds with this caveat could be asking charities that got the ill-begotten funds to return it to the county.  The Fil-Am Club received operating expenses out of this fund. That is illegal.

The most grotesque thing about this is that Morgan is acting as if he is being altruistic by helping the areas of the communities with these funds. Those of us that see Morgan for what he is, know that it is a way to manipulate people to donate money to his campaign.

Consider this, practically, if he used the money for the proper things to improve the agency, the county would be safer. However, he is selling the county safety in not training or retaining officers that WILL STAY. He is selling safety by taking money that could be used to provide more training for the new officers out there due to the high attrition rate and even better equipment to deal with the kinds of crime emerging. The big thing is Morgan has run off the better officers and the new ones don’t stay. That is a problem. That is Morgan’s problem. Yet the money he spends is on outward organizations as he puts the onus and responsibility for safety on the public.  He is undermining his organization for political gain.

The kind of corruption the media talk about, the kind the Supreme Court was concerned about, involves the putative sale of votes in exchange for campaign contributions–. James L. Buckley

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ECSO Commits FRAUD to Cover LET Misappropriation

PART 1 OF A 2 PART SERIES:

ESCAMBIA CO. SHERIFF REVEALS COUNTYWIDE CORRUPTION

In addition to spending LET money with great abandon, the Honorable Sheriff Morgan debased himself to a new low by exploiting his discretion of this fund even more. It should be no surprise, as Mr. Doug Underhill stated in the Panhandle Politico,  Morgan has been soliciting LET money  to other organizations. This is unprecedented and unauthorized by Florida Statute.  As Ms. Jeanne Griffin stated, the process is that organizations request money from the Sheriff’s office…… ORGANIZATIONS REQUEST MONEY. The fact Morgan has to offer money to people who then have to jump through hoops to get to money, is out of the normal.  It begs the question of “why”?

Regardless of motivations, the most recent foolishness is the Hadji Shrine Temple’s recent golf tournament to raise non-deductible, non-501(3)c donations for operational costs for their organization. This was not something donors could right off. Standard advertising sponsorship was $100 for a sign at one of the tees.They also sold sponsorship for golf teams. It was $300 per 4 man team.

The entire scenario is sketchy.  One afternoon, while canvassing the area for donations, Sheriff Morgan approached Jay Cowick, in his yard. Morgan asked him if he was the man to see regarding sponsorship at the golf tournament. Jay said he was and explained the $100 per sign sponsorship they had. Sheriff Morgan responded that he thought he could probably do better than that. He’d have someone contact this Jay  with more information.

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The following Monday,  an unidentified woman called Jay and asked what $5000 would get the Sheriff’s Office. Shocked, Jay said they would have 18 signs, 1 at ever tee (value of $1800) and 2 teams (value of $600).  There was nothing else really that they had to give. They could come up with a banner for the Sheriff for free.  This was agreed upon.

Sources within the ranks of the Hadji Temple confirmed that no further documentation was provided to the Sheriff’s office for this transaction. They did not sign anything; no justification documentation went to the Sheriff’s Office and a check was received.Upon a inspection of a public records request, there is an entire packet of documentation attached for this check. There is an unsigned request form, an email from Alison Morgan to Jay Cowick asking about where to send the check, a letter from Jan 2016 asking the Sheriff’s office to donate items to be given away at the door for this tournament–oh by the way, if they are interested in sponsorship here are the basics. Additionally a Sunbiz printout with the Hadji Temple’s 501(3)c listing , a copy of the tax exemption form, which has no bearing on the request as the money is not for tax-deductible funds.  The troubling part of this is that the Sheriff’s office, according the Hadji Shrine Temple, put this documentation together without their knowledge and hastily so that they did not see that the donations were not going for the crippled children, directly. This entire transaction was doctored up. IT IS FRAUDULENT!

But wait there’s more…

The golf tournament was on May 14, 2016. The morning of the tournament, Sheriff Morgan and entourage arrive with a huge number of campaign signs and starts placing them everywhere. This had the other Shriners questioning just what this check was going to cost them. Upon inspection, the donation was out of the LET fund.  The Shriners did not formally provide a request, necessary by Florida statute. The check came to them after being solicited by the Sheriff.

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This one transaction shows the corrupt nature of this Sheriff and his view of the fund. He went to people and asked them what he could give for donations. What purpose is there to ask people to give. Maybe we can break it down a little. For the Shriners, 18 holes with 18 signs would have been $1800. Morgan got 2 golf teams registered at $300 per team. That is $600 + the sign money is $2400 in total.  He did not get a thing more than if he had only written a check for $2400 to the Shriners. Why $5000?  Influence & power to put up signs illegally without the organization questioning him. This solicitation to DONATE money is bizarre and seems to have proverbial strings, but Doug Underhill corroborates this in the Panhandle Politico article when asked if he intiated the $25K  donation for Cyberthon. His response was, “during a conversation about the program, Sheriff Morgan offered to support the event with LET funding.”

There seems to be some sort of expected quid pro quo for these donations. It is possible that the recipients do not know they are selling their souls to Sheriff Morgan for unspoken future favors. I made this assertion in regards to the GCKH donation in 2014. I am even more convinced of it now.

Recruiting high dollar donations with the caveat of “what can you give me for this money” is a perversion of the altruistic facade the Honorable Sheriff receives accolades for, not to mention the overt cover up the facts surrounding these donations, specifically by fraudulently creating documentation to make the Shriners look like they came to Morgan is simply criminal.  This is exactly the reason the entire Escambia County Board of Commissioners should be impeached along with this Sheriff. The BOCC members have a responsibility to the taxpayers to govern and make sure the money for the county is handled correctly. By giving up those rights, they are faltering in their duty to the taxpayers. The buck stops with them and not knowing is not an excuse for allowing this. The inmate is running the asylum, while the commissioners do nothing.

Haines: LET Funds can be used for anything

In the past few weeks, there has been a growing concern throughout the community regarding the  shameless spending of LET funds under this Sheriff’s discretion–more importantly the vexation by citizens about the legality of the LET disbursements. Will these organizations getting huge checks from the Sheriff have to give the money back at some point, because the funds were not legally donated?  To the trusting people of Escambia County, Sir David’s translucent pretext of humanitarianism is becoming hard to swallow. The duplicitous donations appear to be a vice for Sir David  to purchase value in the community elite and in turn, purchase votes. This has been the theme of many conversations over the breakfast tables and within the social media in Escambia County.

To clarify how the LET funds are spent by the most closely associated LEO agency, the Pensacola PD, I called Jeanne Griffin. Ms. Griffin explained the process of requesting and distributing LET money in their organizations. The process is complex as it should be. First of all, Ms. Griffin says the biggest difference is that the PPD does NOT have a checkbook for that fund. The Sheriff’s Office does. He is able to make donations and leave it to the Board of Commissioners to rule on the expenditures after the fact to reimburse the money. There is a glaring assumption that this is expected. In other words, Morgan seems to be fairly confident that he can spend the money and not be concerned because the county commissioners won’t question it. That is a problem and a red flag.

Ms. Griffin stated in order to spend LET money, a request must be submitted and has to be approved by the administration of the PPD; it is then submitted to the city council. The city council reviews it and researches it, if necessary. After they approve it, it goes to the mayor and then to have a budget resolution passed. Then after more red tape, the check is cut. Dozens of people must approve the spending of funds because the money belongs to the city or in Morgan’s case, the county. They want to be sure that no dollar is spent in haste. This process is standard for most counties and municipalities in Florida. Sir David has been blessed to have broad discretion over the funds. Ironic, since he couldn’t handle the discretion of the jail and the rumors of misappropriation of funds in his military past.  Observing the recent spending, it seems there is still an issue and the funds he is misappropriating is county money—taxpayers’ money.

SIDE NOTE: Funny how his tax returns show the JUMP in wealth after the magnanimous donations started pouring from the county spicket.  Could be a coincidence but I’m not one for coincidences.

Also, the creative categorization of the LET money spent is that of sophmoric ineptocrat. For instance: 100 Black Men, an organization that does stuff through the youth of the community but this particular donation has nothing to do with impacting lives or crime prevention. They want money for a banquet.

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To understand compliance with the statute, the entire process should be laid out for clarification. The parameters of what donations are in accordance with  Fla. Stat. Ann. § 932-7055  fall into the categories of :

1. school resource officer, 2. crime prevention, 3. safe neighborhood, 4. drug abuse education and prevention programs, 5. for other law enforcement purposes, such as defraying the cost of protracted or complex investigations, providing additional equipment or expertise, purchasing automated external defibrillators for use in law enforcement vehicles, and 6.  providing matching funds to obtain federal grants. The proceeds and interest may not be used to meet normal operating expenses of the law enforcement agency

The aforementioned example is a example of how broadly this statute is being stretched.  A banquet is being used for crime prevention, drug prevention and direct support at $5000?  While I am sure there is no doubt this organization benefited from the donation, the issue is this: couldn’t Sir David have used that $5000 for something that more beneficial to more people?

Watch and listen to how Chief Deputy Haines explained in on WCOA.

This is exactly the reason the entire Escambia County Board of Commissioners should be impeached along with this Sheriff. BOCC members have a responsibility to the taxpayers to govern and make sure the money for the county is handled correctly. The buck stops with them but they have become complacent and in turn, the inmate is running the asylum.

Creative accounting for the privileged.