The sheriff said she did not force anyone to sell ads or work without pay. She promised to produce financial records for her rodeo, but a month later gave only names of charities and no amounts. In interviews, the sheriff gave differing accounts about who processed the rodeo cash. Before that, the money was kept in a regular account, she said.
Chatham County Sheriff's Office Agencies Trained
Normally, tax-exempt organizations must file annual financial reports for public inspection. The Times identified 19 such organizations — not all of them related to rodeos — affiliated with Alabama sheriffs. The sheriff in Etowah County has three. Asked to explain how their rodeo profits were managed, three sheriffs gave names of nonprofit groups that they said held the money, but a search of government records could find no such entities.
One sheriff said his rodeo was a tax-exempt nonprofit, even though it is incorporated as a for-profit business. That said, the value of rodeos for sheriffs in need of votes and money is considerable. Recently, the first three news items on his web page were rodeo promotions. The mere mention of Ms. A liar, a fabricator, a crazy woman: That is how she describes Ms. Lockhart stands by her postings. The diminutive grandmother became a whistle-blower after retiring as a security manager at the Redstone Arsenal, using her military research skills to shadow the sheriff and her allies. Lockhart first took an interest in the sheriff after deputies came to her rural home in July to investigate a supposed disturbance.
What happened next is in dispute, but she and her husband, Harold Lockhart, say the officers found nothing but refused to leave when asked. Deputies arrested the couple after Mr. Lockhart, a retired military police officer, said he had had enough and was calling his lawyer. The Lockharts successfully sued the sheriff for false arrest.
And while the sheriff was not present for the arrest and later said she knew nothing about it, Ms. Lockhart did not forget. With a profitable construction business, Ms. Lockhart had the resources to pursue complaints big and small. This year she even went so far as to hire a pilot to fly her over southern Alabama, where she videotaped a stretch of land that she believed the sheriff had secretly obtained for her horses.
That suspicion, Sheriff Franklin says, is not backed by a scintilla of evidence. There was, however, more than enough evidence to link the sheriff to Priceville Partners L. A used-car dealership offering title loans, Priceville Partners had begun opening branches around the county, and investors were welcome. Ordinarily, law officers might investigate rather than invest in a business co-owned by the likes of Greg Steenson, who had done prison time for a multimillion-dollar check-kiting scheme. But several officers from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, along with Morgan County deputies, became financially involved, records show.
She would later say that she had not known Mr.
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Steenson was a co-owner, even though her daughter said that was clear from her first day on the job. Lockhart had begun blogging about the dealership in , after noticing the proximity of the lawbreaker and the law enforcers. She was not the only one watching.
So was the F. In January, after Ms. Lovelace Jr. No charges have been filed. Amid fears of a lawsuit, the Facebook page came down. According to The Decatur Daily, she said that the money had come from her savings and retirement accounts. Steenson, had recently been arrested on new charges — of theft and forgery involving the dealership.
The district attorney said Mr. Priceville Partners filed for bankruptcy last year. Sheriff Franklin eventually admitted the money had been withdrawn from an account earmarked for feeding inmates. But Morgan County was different. Ana Franklin had her eyes on inmate food money even before she took office. In preparing for her new job, she asked the county attorney if surplus food money would be hers to keep. Our trust will remain above reproach. We will not lose our "desire to help" those in need while completing our mission. We will have the courage and wisdom to be fair when carrying out our duties and responsibilities.
We are committed to providing effective, efficient, and courteous service to our community. We will strive to continually provide training and leadership for our officers to accomplish our goals and to serve our community.
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By understanding that we are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the public, we will conduct ourselves, both professionally and personally, in a manner that will not bring discredit to us as individuals or as a department. Respect is a two-way street. It is earned, not demanded. We will strive to earn the respect of our community by respecting those we serve. Inmates are seldom once or twice a month allowed to leave their cells for exercise in the recreational area atop the jail.
The known medical needs of inmates go largely unattended: prescribed medications for serious illnesses are not made available for those inmates who cannot afford them; there is a dangerous delay between Defendants' awareness of the serious medical needs of inmates and the response, if any, to such needs. Defendants are largely indifferent to the needs of mentally ill inmates. Following a September 22, , inspection of the Jail, he wrote:. Plaintiffs' Exhibit "PX" 24, p. Assuming the existence of an emergency evacuation procedure, the inmates have not been alerted to it.
The Alabama State Department of Corrections "DOC" 's consistent failure to remove "state [prison] ready" inmates from the Morgan County Jail has been the principal cause of the jail's overcrowding. Under Alabama law, when an inmate has been convicted and sentenced in a circuit court and the court reporter's transcript has been filed with the circuit clerk, the DOC should "thereupon" transfer the inmate from the county jail to a state prison.
But because of alleged overcrowding in the state prisons, the DOC has defaulted in its statutory obligation to remove state ready inmates from the Morgan County Jail.
Morgan County Sheriff's Office
Alabama's largest county, Jefferson, had state ready inmates as of April 9, ; its next three larger counties, Mobile, Madison, and Morgan had 65, 0, and 57 state ready inmates, respectively. As of the same date, there were state ready inmates in the Morgan County Jail. Defendants' Exhibit "DX" Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Baldwin, and Calhoun are larger than Morgan County, but the number of state ready inmates in each of these counties is significantly less than Morgan County.
As of January , the DOC had the capacity for housing 23, inmates in its various penal facilities. Also on that date, the average inmate population in the state penal facilities was 22, Thus, despite the DOC's constant refrain that its prisons are filled to the brim and overflowing, the fact is that it is operating at PX 17, p. The Limestone facilitylocated in the adjacent county to Morganhas a capacity for 2, inmates. Yet as of three months ago, it had only 2, state inmates All of the inmates incarcerated in state prisons sleep in bunks or beds; not a single one of them sleeps on the floor!
PX 16, pp. Although the Commissioner's statements were made three years ago, he assured the Court in his testimony in this case that these statements are as true today as they were when they were made. The Court credits these statements. The DOC pays nothing to Morgan County for its housing of state ready inmates who should be housed in state prisons.
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The DOC thus has a substantial financial incentive to leave its state prisoners on the barren concrete floors of the Morgan County Jail. In sum, the Court is not convinced that there are insufficient beds in the state prisons to house the state ready inmates presently sleeping on the floors of the Morgan County Jail.
It finds precisely to the contrary. Moreover, assuming arguendo a lack of capacity in the state prisons, as the Commissioner has forthrightly testified, the DOC is in a much better position than the Morgan County Defendants to arrange for temporary housing of the inmates for whom it bears legal responsibility.
The Court preliminarily concludes that Plaintiffs have carried their burden of showing that the conditions extant in the Morgan County Jail violate their rights to the minimal civilized measures of life's necessities and protection from a substantial risk of serious harm under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Moreover, they have shown that Defendants have acted and failed to act with deliberate indifference to the uncivilized and hazardous conditions in the Morgan County Jail. Further, they have shown that Defendant Alabama State Department of Corrections, being primarily responsible for the overcrowding in the Morgan County Jail, has been deliberately indifferent to its capacity to correct that problem.
Failing to screen each incoming inmate for serious medical conditions e. Where an inmate's medical condition requires testing of blood pressure, blood sugar, or other specialized testing, said Defendants shall provide such testing as required. Failing to provide bunk beds, mattresses, sheets, and blankets to all inmates incarcerated in the Morgan County Jail after the state ready inmates shall have been removed from the Morgan County Jail pursuant to this Preliminary Injunction;.
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