Alabama Strikes to Ban Sheriffs from Pocketing Jail Meals Cash

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A later sheriff in Morgan County used unspent jail-food cash to take a position $150,000 in a used-car dealership.

And this yr, when the Alabama Media Group described the Etowah County sheriff’s dealing with of leftover meals cash, it reported that he had bought a seashore home for $740,000. The sheriff, who stated he was appearing in accordance with state regulation and angrily denied wrongdoing, was defeated final month in a major. He didn’t reply to a message on Wednesday.

Ms. Ivey, a former state treasurer who turned governor final yr, stated in her memorandum to the comptroller that “latest occasions introduced this coverage to my consideration,” and he or she requested the Legislature to contemplate altering the wording of the Melancholy-era statute that sheriffs have relied on to justify their retention of the jail meals cash.

The governor’s legal professionals acknowledged in an inner evaluate that state attorneys common in Alabama had reached conflicting conclusions concerning the leftover funds.

One, Troy King, dominated in a 2008 opinion {that a} “sheriff might retain any surplus from the meals service allowance as private earnings” and famous that “many of the sheriffs within the state have retained the meals and repair allowances for private earnings for years.” Mr. King, who left workplace in 2011, is working for lawyer common once more this yr; he’s competing within the Republican major runoff on July 17. He was not obtainable for touch upon Wednesday.

Within the final twenty years, although, two different attorneys common have reached the alternative view, that sheriffs weren’t entitled to extra meals cash. Within the more moderen opinion, in 2011, Luther Unusual stated that “neither the sheriff nor the county might use the excess for any objective apart from future bills in feeding prisoners.”

The governor’s workplace stated it was not clear why the apply of paying the meals cash to sheriffs personally and letting them hold any surplus had remained in impact after that ruling. In an electronic mail on Wednesday, Clinton Carter, the state finance director, stated Alabama officers had lately “re-evaluated our interpretation” of Mr. Unusual’s 2011 opinion.

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